Look for “the horse of a different color” when filing for the VA Benefit Aid & Attendance, and ONLY through a veteran-dedicated home care agency.
If you are as old as I am, you will remember “the horse of a different color” from The Wizard of Oz. It stood out from all the rest and was truly different than any other horse.
If you are looking for assistance with a complex VA benefit such as Aid and Attendance, don’t just hope you find the right agency to help. Instead, review the below information then let your search begin.
THE PROBLEM? At last count, there were over two-hundred organizations that purport to help veterans obtain the Aide and Attendance benefit for those that qualify. However, many of these organizations are considered as poachers seeking to get all or a portion of the veteran’s funds. Others are looking to sell the veteran services they may or may not need. Still, others are seeking to get paid for assisting a veteran in applying for benefits. So, how do you pick the right one to help you out of this “herd of horses?”
First, eliminate anyone who wants to charge a fee for assisting you to file for benefits. It is illegal to charge for helping a veteran in the application process for the Aid and Attendance benefit.
Second, eliminate anyone who wants to charge you to re-arrange your assets to qualify. This usually means a lawyer setting up a trust and moving assets to that trust. You don’t have to use anyone to help you if you don’t want to. Any veteran or surviving spouse can file the claim for benefits on their own. However, the problem is the application process is complicated and time-consuming. The process entails a lot of paperwork and veterans tend to give up after realizing so much ‘red tape’ is involved. Then, and to make it more complex, if you did qualify, you’d need to find a home care agency or an individual caregiver to provide services. This takes time, drug tests, background checks, etc. Even the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers individual Caregivers as employees, even if they are a family member. This means withholding taxes and filing federal and state tax forms, compliance with state home care laws and providing workmen’s compensation insurance. The process is much too complicated for most of the veterans we know.
THE SOLUTION? Look for a veteran-dedicated home care agency (i.e., “the horse of a different color”) who specializes in providing in-home care for veterans through the benefit. They will be an agency who can assist clients in filing for the Aid and Attendance benefit to pay for all or a part of the care that is required. Also, they will be someone who always offers ‘no cost’ for the service. They will be an agency that offers private pay solutions as well as complete access to the Aid and Attendance funds in an ethical, legal approach. Today, it’s your obligation to look for a “horse of a different color.” If you have read this entire article, you are now closer to that reality then never before!
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Steve Lee, Founder & CEO at Veterans Aide at Home, a veteran-dedicated home care agency and may be reached at 720-326-0319 or by email at Steve@VeteransAideAH.com.