We Love Our Veterans! by Stacey Rhodes

By | 2012-08-02T15:50:47+00:00 August 2nd, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

There is a great story circulating that goes like this:
Charley, a new retiree greeter at WalMart, just couldn’t seem to get to work on time. Every day he was 5, 10, 15 minutes late. But he was a good worker, sharp-minded and a real credit to the company.
One day the boss called him into the office for a talk. “Charley, I have to tell you I like your work ethic. You do a bang-up job when you finally get here but your being late so often is quite bothersome.”
“Yes, I know boss,” Charley replied, “and I’m working on it.”
“Well good,” the boss said. “You’re a team player. Seeming puzzled, the manager went on to comment: “I know you’re retired from the Armed Forces. What did they say to you there if you showed up in the morning late?”
Charley looked down at the floor, chuckled quietly and said with a grin: “They usually saluted and said: ‘Good morning Admiral, can I get you your coffee sir?’”
This story illustrates two important points.

First we must remember that our seniors made important contributions in their prime working years. Secondly, it speaks to the increasing need for retirees, including veterans, to supplement their pensions and social security to cover current living expenses and future care needs.
St. John’s not only supports our military overseas but through our Veterans Program, we welcome and support Veterans to our adult day program and Home Services. St. John’s has been a VA provider for one year.
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers various programs and services for Veterans. Each of their services has qualifying factors so it is necessary to contact the eligibility office (314-652-4100) or refer to the website www.va.gov
To receive benefits at St. John’s a veteran must be enrolled in the VA health system. You make the request for an assessment for Adult Day Health Services or In–Home Services.
The physician will approve the veteran’s eligibility for number of days and transportation costs for adult day services. The physician can also approve services for care in the home. VA pays St. John’s directly. Families do not have to make a payment to St. John’s. This benefit provides health, social, and support services so the Veteran can continue to live in the community.
The Aid and Attendance Benefit is another VA program helpful to veterans and their surviving spouses. As a general rule, to qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a family’s assets cannot exceed $80,000. However, the primary home and vehicles can be excluded when determining net worth.
It is also worth noting that this benefit differs from Medicaid’s “look-back” at an applicant’s past asset transfers up to 5 years preceding their application.
Another qualifying factor for Aid and Attendance is the Veteran must be considered a “wartime veteran”, meaning they served at least 90 days and served at least one day during specific wartimes but not necessarily in combat. Veterans with dishonorable discharges are no eligible.
The VA does not put restrictions on how these benefits can be used. They can be applied toward skilled nursing, assisted living, in-home or adult day programs or to modify the home to accommodate for a disability. The VA application can be long and confusing and processing can take up to 6 months. The VA provides Veteran Service Officers to help with questions. They are very valuable and can help when you reach a road block in completing the application.
The Veteran Service Officer to contact in our area is Michael McGovern at 233-5140. Another valuable resource is a book, “Checks for Vets” by Joseph Scott McCarthy. The cost is $30. This book is a guidebook providing sample application forms and letters, tips for locating discharge records, and resources, etc.
All these program offered by the VA are ways to honor Veterans and their surviving spouses. St. John’s Community Care is proud to be one of the providers. Let St. John’s be your first call when you need assistance with all your caregiving concerns.