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Aging Veterans Unaware of Pension Benefits
DAYTON, Ohio, March 12, 2007 - According to Veterans Affairs analysis, only 27 percent of veterans and 14 percent of widow(er)s who are likely eligible, actually receive any money from the Veterans Non-Service Connected Improved Pension Benefit Program, also referred to as Aids and Attendance.
Established to assist qualified veterans, and/or their surviving spouses and family, the Aids and Attendance benefit program provide funding for aging veterans who need assistance with medical and non-medical care both in the home and in qualified facilities. In many cases, veterans, along with their spouses and family, are unaware this program exists.
Aids and Attendance also offer add-on care services if the veteran or surviving spouse needs the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, grooming, toileting, meal preparation and other activities of daily living.
"Our owners see many clients that are faced with the difficult task of covering their healthcare expenses," said Jim Booth, CEO of Comfort Keepers, an in-home senior care provider. "Qualifying for these funds takes a huge burden off of veterans and their families."
To qualify, a veteran must have 90 days or more of active duty with at least one of those days served during a US-declared war. The benefits are designed for those who meet specific financial criteria and demonstrate a physical need for healthcare.
According to Booth, "There are several reasons why veterans are unaware or misunderstand these benefits. First is the name of the benefit - improved pension benefit. Pension benefits usually come after years of service, not after only 90 days. In addition, many veterans assume the benefits are for those with a service-related disability."
Applicants who plan to seek VA benefits for the first time should visit the Department of Veteran Affairs web site at www.vba.gov or call 1-800-827-1000 for more information
On average, it takes between four and six months for an application to be processed. Fortunately, all benefits are retro-dated back to the original filing date. Comfort Keepers can provide professional guidance while the applicant is completing the necessary paperwork and being assessed for eligibility. Once approved, Comfort Keepers can also be the solution for quality in-home care.
Founded in 1998 by a registered home health care nurse, the Comfort Keepers franchise system has grown to over 650 offices worldwide. For more information, visit www.comfortkeepers.com. Each office is independently owned and operated.