Veterans may be eligible for both short-term and long-term care through assisted living, residential, or home health care options. Short-term care typically occurs while someone is recovering from an illness, injury, or surgery. These short-term services help seniors make smooth transitions from the hospital back to their homes. On the other hand, long-term services are generally for seniors with chronic and/or progressive conditions. For these seniors, regular assistance and care are required. Care may even include support for family members or other caregivers who help people who are ill or disabled. The VA offers a range of services available for sick or disabled Veterans.
Care Services and Settings
Veterans have access to care services, including:
- 24/7 nursing and medical care
- Physical therapy
- Help with daily tasks (like bathing, dressing, making meals, and taking medicine)
- Comfort care and help with managing pain
- Support for caregivers who may need skilled help or a break so they can work, travel, or run errands.
These services are offered in a variety of settings, some are run by the VA, while others may be run by state or community organizations that the VA inspects and approves.
Care settings may include:
- Services at Home and in the Community – including Adult Day Health Care, Home-Based Primary Care, Homemaker, and Home Health Aide Care, Hospice Care, Palliative Care, Respite Care, Skilled Home Health Care, Remote Monitoring Care, and Veteran-Directed Care
- Residential settings – such as Community Residential Care, Medical Foster Homes, Adult Family Homes, and Assisted Living Centers
- Nursing homes – such as VA Community Living Centers, Community Nursing Homes, and State Veterans Homes
How Do Veterans Access These Services?
Geriatric Evaluation to assess your care needs and to create a care plan, Adult Day Health Care, Respite Care, and Skilled Home Health Care are all services included in the VA Standard Benefits Package. However, some services may be prioritized based on your level of VA service-connected disability. Residential settings and nursing homes have different eligibility requirements.
Additionally, while the VA will cover some of these services, you may still need to pay a copay for some covered services. Furthermore, there may be other short- or long-term care services that are not covered under VA Health Care.
To access either short term or long term care services, Veterans must meet all of these requirements:
- You are signed up for VA Health Care.
- The VA concludes that you need a specific service to help with your ongoing treatment and personal care.
- The service is available near you.
Before applying for care services, a Veteran must be enrolled in VA Health Care. Being enrolled means you have applied for VA Health Care benefits, and you receive care through a VA facility on a regular basis. Veterans may be eligible for VA Health Care services, known as the Standard Medical Benefits Package, if they served in the military and were discharged for any reason other than dishonorable.
At Coverage Made, we know that long-term care is an important consideration for seniors and something that should be planned for. You never know when a prolonged illness, unforeseen disability, or cognitive impairment will suddenly require short- or long-term care options. That’s why we’re here to help you make wise financial and insurance choices.