We’re going to look at VA benefits, you went the wrong way. So at assisted living, we’ve been through private pay and we’ve been through long term care insurance, now we’re going to look to veteran benefits. There’s no point in looking to Medicaid for assisted living, because in Georgia, and this is state specific, it always kind of boggles my mind when I talk to attorneys in other states when I go to a national conference or something and we’re biz-bazing about how things work and I hear things like, “Your Medicaid doesn’t pay for assisted living?” “No, yours does?”. So this varies state to state. A lot of times what I do when I’m meeting with families, there might be a decision to be made. Moms in Massachusetts, do we keep mom in Massachusetts? Do we move her with daughter in California? Do we move her in with daughter in Georgia? So a lot of times what I might do, is just sit down and provide the information to this family so they can make an informed decision about that. By the way, stay in Massachusetts would be my answer; they’ve got a lot of services in Massachusetts. Ok, so, we will look to veteran benefits, when we talk about veteran benefits it’s important to draw a distinction just really quickly, I don’t want to spend too much time on this. But there are different types of va benefits, I will talk to people about va benefits and they will say, “Oh, dad’s already got va benefits, he was disabled in the war”. Ok, that’s va compensation, that is tied to a service connected injury. That is a rating, if you’re 10% disabled you get x dollars per month, if you’re 90% disabled you get more per month. That is compensation that is tied to something. Or people will say, “Oh, dad can’t get va benefits, he wasn’t hurt in the war”. So the two different types of benefits you can get would be compensation or pension, the Aid and Attendance program is a va pension program, so that’s what we will be looking at here. There are different types of va pension programs even. There’s the Low Income Pension, if you’re familiar at all with our own social security system. If someone has limited assets, limited income, they get SSI, that’s the welfare social security program. This low income pension, that’s the va equivalent of social security SSI benefits.
Can they get both SSI and Low Income Pension?
Um, you cannot because if you’re getting the low income pension, that’s more than the SSI benefits, that’s going to disqualify you from the SSI. But if you’re picking and choosing between the two and va is an option, you’re going to want to go with that. Then there’s the Housebound benefits, so if you have this Low Income Pension and then your needs increase such that you are quote unquote housebound as determined by the va, then that pension amount moves up a little bit. Then, if you are in a situation where you need the aid and attendance of another in order to carry out your activities of daily living, which is precisely what homecare would be or it’s what assisted living would be, that’s when you look to Aid and Attendance. So there’s your background kind of on some of the va programs.