VA Medical Foster Care Program Expanding to 46 States by 2013

The VA Medical Foster Care Program helps keep veterans out of nursing homes and away from expensive and impersonal home health care.  Due to positive response and widespread interest, the VA plans to expand the program to 102 sites across 46 states over the next 12 months.

Since its creation in 2000, the VA Medical Foster Care program has been allowing veterans the option of living with a family or home caregiver in their community.

Currently 424 caregivers in 36 states have opened their homes to veterans.  Those caregivers are compensated anywhere between $1200 – $3000.  They are also well-trained, and undergo a thorough application process that includes:

  • An in-home inspection by a social worker, a dietitian, a registered nurse and a physical therapist.
  • Interviews and background checks by VA staff.
  • The foster caregiver and anyone else who lives in or moves into the house must be fingerprinted and pass health tests that include a check for tuberculosis. This screening process also includes any help that she hires.

Like a home health aide situation, veterans in medical foster care homes also receive regular visits from hospital staff.  This is all covered by typical VA benefits.

“The program is meant to provide veterans with an alternate long-term care option in a safe and home-like environment and just to be able to offer vets the choice to remain living in a community, family home setting if they are faced with the need to move into a nursing home or a more institutionalized setting,” said April Bartlett, the medical foster home coordinator for the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System..

“The tagline for the program is ‘Where heroes meet angels.’”

Medical Foster Homes can be distinguished from many other community residential care homes because,

  1. the home is owned or rented by the caregiver;
  2. the caregiver lives in the home and provides personal care and supervision; and
  3. there are never more than three residents receiving care in the home.

Interested?

Here is a current list of the cities with active Medical Foster Homes.  If VA Medical Foster Care is something that you or a Veteran you know might be interested in, click here to locate the closest VA Medical center for more information.

Below are some other great resources for assisted living:

HUD-VASH Voucher Program Aims to Stop Homeless Veterans Epidemic

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are working together to provide the fastest and most complete service possible to those who served our country who now need housing assistance.  Housing vouchers known as HUD-VASH are now available that can help veterans resolve their housing situation if they are in danger of becoming homeless.

The first step is to locate the VA center closest to you, register, and explain your circumstances. If you are a low-income veteran, the VA will refer you to the local housing authority nearest you that offers the HUD-VASH vouchers. These housing vouchers are funded by HUD, coordinated by the VA and administered by local housing agencies.  They allow veterans to live in the place of their choice.

The basic eligibility requirements are determined initially by the VA, as the veteran must be eligible for VA medical services and his or her economic situation should be classified under the definition of homeless as defined by law. Read all the details here.

The person must participate actively in obtaining services to help stabilize his or her situation. A requirement for participation is to accept the assistance of a social worker to help with handling your case, whether that is related to physical or mental disabilities. The most vulnerable veterans are ideal candidates for this program.

The next step is to contact the housing authority, who determines whether or not the veteran’s income level meets the program requirements.   The housing authority also verifies that the veteran and any immediate family member residing with him/her are not known sex offenders, which automatically disqualifies the person.

Once the eligibility process is determined, the veteran receives a list of homes whose owners are interested in renting to people with housing vouchers.  The veteran can select the property he or she wants, provided the owner agrees to receive payment for the rent on a contract with the housing authority and the tenant. The property must pass inspection to verify that it is habitable and sanitary housing.

If you need help, do not wait. Call the National Center for Homeless Veterans Assistance at 1-877-424-3838.

Special Pension for Veterans’ Aid and Attendance Helps Caregivers of Veterans 65 and Older

A little-known veterans‘ benefit for long-term care expenses is available to wartime veterans and their spouses. But the benefit is being overlooked by thousands of families.

The Special Pension for Veterans’ Aid and Attendance pays up to $1,949 a  month toward assisted living, nursing homes or in-home care for veterans 65 and older who served at least 90 days and one day during wartime – stateside or overseas.

Yet, an estimated $22 billion a year goes unclaimed, said Don Soard, a volunteer with Operation Veteran Aid in Oklahoma City. In 2007, only 134,000 seniors nationwide received the benefit, which was established in 1952.

“Literally hundreds of thousands don’t even know about it,” Soard said. “Due to incomplete information, many disqualify themselves on income or assets or find the paperwork too burdensome.” Read more: HERE<<

The A&A Pension can provide up to $1,632 per month to a veteran, $1,055 per month to a surviving spouse, or $1,949 per month to a couple.

Eligibility must be proven by filing the proper Veterans Application for Pension or Compensation. (Form 21-534 surviving spouse) (Form 21-526 Veteran.) This application will require a copy of DD-214 (*see below for more information) or separation papers, Medical Evaluation from a physician, current medical issues, net worth limitations, and net income, along with out-of-pocket Medical Expenses.

*To request a copy of a DD-214 visit www.vetrec.archives.gov.

*To get help filling out the forms, contact: Operation Veteran Aid

Please feel free to share the article with anyone you know who is a veteran of a war. >>THE AID & ATTENDANCE PENSION

Free Housing for Families of Wounded Warriors: The Fisher House Foundation

The Fisher House Foundation has been supplying free housing to veterans and their families since 1990.  To date, they have provided more than 3 million days of free housing to over 120,000 families.

Due to the increasing number of combat casualties returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, “Fisher Houses” have become an essential part of the recovery process for America‘s “Wounded Warriors”.

The primary purpose of the Fisher House Foundation began with the goal of providing a ‘home away from home’ for military families to be close to their loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.  Thanks to the coordinated efforts of the Fisher House Foundation, several independent airlines, and passengers willing to donate their frequent flier miles: flights for families to and from the many Fisher House Homes are also free.  This is called the “Hero Miles” program.

Beyond housing, The Fisher House Foundation has worked hard to enrich the lives of veterans. By “joining forces” with the U.S. Paralympics and Department of Defense, they helped support the 2011 Warrior Games held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

More than 200 wounded, ill or injured service members from the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Special Operations Command took part in various events.