When Laura learned her father had struggled to get help understanding how his veteran benefits could help cover the cost of long-term care, she was frustrated and concerned. It was no longer safe for her father to live alone, and she simply could not care for him 24/7 while raising her own family and maintaining a career.
She worried about her father’s health and wanted him to have the best nursing care possible. She knew he had served honorably and had a right to veterans’ benefits, but she was quickly becoming overwhelmed trying to understand his eligibility and his options. Where will he get the daily care and assistance he needs?
For Laura and other family members of veterans, the process of filling out paperwork, determining eligibility and finding the right fit in long-term care can be overwhelming.
At Maine Veterans’ Home, we are an advocate for veterans and a long-term care provider. We have helped guide veterans and their families to the right resources so they could apply and gain the benefits they rightfully deserve as a veteran of the United States Armed Forces.
Is My Parent Eligible for Veteran Long-Term Care Benefits?
As a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, your parent may qualify for long-term care or nursing home care veteran benefits provided by the Veterans Affairs. There are certain eligibility criteria involving service, level of care or assistance needed, income, insurance and other factors.
At Maine Veterans’ Home, we are an independent, nonprofit organization separate from the Veterans Affairs. We have six locations throughout Maine that provide care for veterans’, their spouses and gold-star parents who meet the Maine Veterans’ Home eligibility requirements.
Who Is Eligible for Admission at Maine Veterans’ Homes?
- Veterans who were residents of Maine at the time of their entry into the U.S. Armed Forces or who are residents of Maine at the time of application to Maine Veterans’ Home.
- Member must have served one or more days on federal active duty other than for training purposes in the U.S. Armed Forces including the Reserve and National Guard.
- Spouses, widows or widowers, and gold star parents, of eligible veterans.
My Parent Never Served in a War, Does He or She Qualify for Nursing Home Care Benefits?
Yes, your veteran parent may qualify for long-term care benefits even if he or she never served in war. Those serving with the Reserve and National Guard also may qualify.
Many children also wonder if their mother, who may have served as an active duty nurse, could qualify for veteran benefits. Again, the answer is “yes,” she may qualify for veteran long-term care benefits if she meets the eligibility requirements.
What Steps Do I Take to Get My Veteran Parent Long-Term Care Benefits?
At Maine Veterans’ Home, we recommend veterans and their families do three things now in preparation for long-term nursing care:
- Locate the veteran’s DD Form 214. The DD Form 214 verifies active duty, release from duty, assignment, rank and other information critical to getting military benefits.
If your parent does not have a copy of his or her DD Form 214, don’t wait to begin the process to request a copy. A large amount of military records were destroyed in a 1973 fire but the needed information can be reconstructed by contacting the appropriate agencies.
You can begin your search with the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis or feel free to contact our staff here at Maine Veterans’ Home. As advocates for veterans, we have experience working with many state and federal agencies and can help guide you down the right path to get the paperwork you need.
- Contact the nearest Maine Veterans’ Home. Our staff has experience and expertise working closely with state and federal agencies, veterans’ service organization and the Department of Veterans Administration. We can help you determine eligibility and guide you through the necessary paperwork to ensure your veteran parent is getting the benefits he or she is entitled.
- Talk with your parent’s physician. Discuss recommendations and inform the doctor of your parent’s eligibility for veterans’ benefits and any plans you have in place, such as your intent to use Maine Veterans’ Home. It is always a good idea to ensure your parent’s primary care physician knows about any future plans, preferred locations and benefits in the event of an unexpected situation or emergency.
What If My Veteran Parent Was Previously Denied Long-Term Medical Care Benefits?
Don’t assume that determination is correct. At Maine Veterans’ Home, we have seen benefits denied incorrectly due to wrong information provided to the veteran or family, incomplete paperwork and instructional errors. All of these, and other situations, can be resolved and your parent can still get the benefits he or she rightly deserves as a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
As a veterans’ advocate, we have experienced staff who can help you determine benefits, options and eligibility. Part of our mission at Maine Veterans’ Home is promoting and improving veterans’ long-term health care benefits, while also serving as a bridge between veterans and various organizations to facilitate access to affordable and appropriate long-term care.
At Maine Veterans’ Home, we are more than an assisted living, skilled nursing or long-term care center. We are veterans’ advocates. We’re committed 24/7 to Maine’s veterans and their families.
We welcome you and your family to visit any one or all of our six locations throughout Maine, or to contact us for any additional resources you may need. Contact Maine Veterans’ Homes online or give us a call at 800-278-9494.