Does your agency utilize an existing VA benefit called ‘Aid & Attendance’?
Some agencies offer help to Veterans but it’s mostly just gathering paperwork necessary for the A&A… and that’s it! Care typically doesn’t start until the VA pays the agency, which can take months with those agencies unfamiliar with the process. If you call an agency and they don’t know anything about the A&A benefit OR they do offer it and/or it takes longer than 2-4 weeks to START care… move on! Instead, try and find an agency that understands the complexity of the A&A, can start care within 2-4 weeks and has no hidden costs to get started.
Do you have experienced VA Accredited Agents within your office to help with this process? Some agencies will outsource this critical step to local Attorneys or Financial Planners that may have accreditation, but the A&A benefit is just one of many products they offer. Find an agency that has VA Accredited Agents on their team that are dedicated and focused only on capturing the A&A benefit and offer no other products or services.
Are there any upfront costs to start the process? Again, some agencies work through an Attorney or a Financial Planner that technically can help you with this process; however, they have creative ways of collecting payment for ‘other services’ so they can get paid up to an estimated $500 or more. Instead, try and find a Veteran-dedicated agency that offers this at NO COST OR RISK for those who apply. There is no reason for you to pay out-of-pocket for these services.
How long will it take before I can start care? Most agencies don’t start care immediately simply because they don’t have the funds available to absorb the cost of labor for weeks or even months waiting on the VA to begin payment. So, they will process the paperwork and make you wait until the VA releases the funds. Try and find an agency that starts care within 2-4 weeks with no costs upfront and that offers a complete Veterans Program.
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Steve Lee, Founder & Co-Owner of Veterans Aide at Home, a non-skilled home care agency dedicated to Veterans, Spouses and their Widows/ers. He can be reached at 720-326-0319 or by email at steve@VeteransAideAH.com to learn more.