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Veterans' Benefits - asking for a friend


SKL
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I have a friend, about age 75, who is a veteran - he did some overseas service, not sure if it was during a war or not.  He and his wife have had some bad medical situations, hospitals, rehabs, had to sell their house and move into assisted living.  They were telling me about the out-of-pocket costs, because I do their taxes and they are hoping they can get a break.  I asked if he was getting any help from the government in relation to being a veteran, and he said no, he doesn't really know anything about that.  They are also both diabetics and not mobile and will have ongoing health needs.

 

This guy is not on the internet, has vision issues and probably can't read much at this point.  His wife is in the hospital and his son isn't really able to help with this sort of thing.  Myself, I really don't know anything about vet benefits other than that they exist.

 

How can I find out if there is help for this couple?  The husband's bills were relatively less because he applied for Medicaid when he went in for his broken hip - his wife applied under Medicare (husband was already in the hospital so probably not there to advise - and I don't know if he did right in any case).  Wife was paying like $10K per month while in the nursing home,  husband was paying, $1,500 per month IIRC.  Currently I don't know if they have any expenses that Medicare doesn't cover.

 

If I sound clueless, it's because I am.  Any help?  Can they apply for benefits retroactively?  Should he be using VA benefits prospectively?

Edited by SKL
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His county of residence should have a Veteran Assistance Office, and they can answer all your questions. Simply put, there's no way of answering your questions without knowing A LOT more details.

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That's what I was think as I read your post, SKL - he should go talk to the eligibility office at the VA. They'll be able to guide him in the right direction

to get the assistance he and his wife need. It sounds to me, a veteran, like there may very well be much more financial assistance available to them

than they are currently getting.

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He is probably a Vietnam Vet.    What kind of VA Benefits, if any, he might be eligible for, will depend upon his service and if he has any issues that were caused by his military service. As Kinsa suggested in post #2, he or you should check with the nearest VAO and explain his background and situation and ask if there are any VA Benefits he might apply for.  The most obvious one, for him, would be to get medical care in the nearest VA hospital, if he is eligible

 

ETA: He is too young to have fought during the Korean  War.

Edited by Lanny
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If you're over 65, is it better to go to the veteran's hospital or just use Medicare to cover hospital visits wherever?

 

Do the benefits apply to the wife also, though she is not a vet (and I don't think they were married when he was in the service)?

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If you're over 65, is it better to go to the veteran's hospital or just use Medicare to cover hospital visits wherever?

 

Do the benefits apply to the wife also, though she is not a vet (and I don't think they were married when he was in the service)?

 

Whether or not they will accept him as a Patient will depend upon his service and whether or not he has medical issues caused by his military service.   Assuming they are willing to treat him in a VA hospital, I doubt that his wife could/would  also be eligible for medical care in a VA Hospital.  If he actually was in combat in Vietnam, there may be additional considerations the VA will look at when evaluating his application for services and benefits. 

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If you're over 65, is it better to go to the veteran's hospital or just use Medicare to cover hospital visits wherever?

 

Do the benefits apply to the wife also, though she is not a vet (and I don't think they were married when he was in the service)?

If he's eligible for military insurance, it would benefit him to get it. Medicare covers its regular percentage then the military benefits act as supplemental insurance. My stepfather is retired military. He is old enough for Medicare, and my mother is not. They were not married when he served. My mother's insurance is 100% the military insurance. Either way, I don't think they pay anything at all out of pocket for medical care. My mom had an expensive hospitalization last fall and they didn't pay anything at all. I helped them with some paperwork when he was old enough to switch over, but I don't remember the details. He pays a minimal amount for one of the Part Whatevers, but that means everything is covered 100%. It's probably something that would best be handled in person with someone to assist them in going to the veteran's office and helping translate paperwork.

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Check with the VAO......there is a benefit for assisted living/nursing care. It's a ton of paperwork and takes awhile to go through but is worth it. My grandma gets VA assistance for her assisted living expense (my grandpa was the veteran, so it does apply to spouse as well.). Medicaid pays the difference.

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The Stepfather of Zoobie was retired military. Part of the issue for the OP is how long the service was and when it was and where it was. The VAO can. Probably ask a few questions and then know if there's anything the VA can do for him.

 

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Depending on the dates he served he may be eligible for the Aid and Attendance Pension. He will need his DD 214 (discharge papers) in order to apply for benefits. I agree with others that he needs to check with the Veterans Affairs Office.

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I am on my phone. I Googled and va.gov has a very nice page that gives a quick overview of who is eligible for benefits. Priority for among other things Vietnam veterans those who served at Camp Lejune and low income. Consult va.gov and the vao

 

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