VA Assistance for US Veterans: Took hubby to... - PSP Association

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VA Assistance for US Veterans


Took hubby to his yearly check in at the VA. Have to see a VA doc max 2 years to keep him in the system. Told his doc my concerns about home health assistance and care when the needs arise and Doc told me there was assistance available. He gave me card with name of Case Manager and set up a request for Social Worker contact. Next day Social Worker called and told me there were home help and care assistance programs and that when we needed the assistance to just call the Social Work Dept. So any veterans out there, contact your nearest VA hospital or clinic. You don't have to have service disability or Income Limitations although there are programs for people with limited incomes.

33 Replies

Awesome! I finally got around to sending in the required paperwork for Bob to be considered for VA benefits. Excited to say that he has his first appointment next week. Thanks for the input!


Thanks for information. We were told by local VA office, my husband would not qualify for any help because of income. We don't have a high income, the limitations was very low to qualify. So this is very interesting because this is a big concern when things get worse. At this time there is no need for any help. Thanks again

don't bother with the office. Call and talk to Social Worker at your nearest VA Clinic or hospital

thanks for the information

You are correct, we had the same experience. We even went to a VFW post for help. Try getting him qualified for just medical. You may be able to do this if he was in a war zone etc. VA is much more lenient with this. There are co-pays etc, so this may not be much benefit at this time.

If the time comes when he is truly Catastrophically disabled, call for help as suggested. With that level of disability, income becomes less significant.

Best of luck.

We are not close to needing help at this time anyway. But I have felt there was no help out there through the VA. Reading your story below sounds so familiar with ours on trying to get the medical help, then realizing our supplement worked better even though my husband didn't even qualify. Except we had 3 years before medicare when he had to quit work due to psp. He was stationed in Guam for a year through Vietnam War working on the B 52 planes as mechanic, but never went to Vietnam so didn't qualify and he didn't have a disability through military( except maybe the PSP which is way to hard to prove. ) Anyway very interesting to know.

He served during war time that is important. when you need them they will be there for you. Just get into the system NOW!!!

My guy was in Italy during the same time. He was initially turned down for care - not service-connected disability - but then we were told to apply for a catastrophic diagnosis exception. Each VA facility may determine whether it has the capacity to offer care under the exception, so it's not certain your husband will be helped, but our facility did, and the care was fabulous. We got home care and respite care and all kinds of equipment - ramp, stairlift, walkers, wheelchair, grab bars, hoist. I am so very grateful for the VA and the wonderful staff at the hospital here in Maine. Wishing you the same kind of luck.

Love and peace,


thank you also for the info. Never knew any of this before.

How are you doing, yellowmarlene?

Actually doing ok right now. How are you doing? We have a different VA representative, found him through our primary health care He is with the local hospital. We are finally getting somewhere, looks like Lee is able to get VA health care which was such a surprise. We were told for years he couldn't get it, that's a whole another story. Just glad we have a VA representative who is caring. We had sent in for a disability through the VA, there are 50,000 disabled veterans who have started a claim for getting diseases while at Guam. Lee was there for a year and when you read about PSP a lot of the time it brings up the island Guam. So how are you doing now? Would like to hear from you

Hi. Glad the VA seems to be stepping up for you. Having a good representative made all the difference for us. I'm doing ok. Miss my sweetheart terribly. Better try to sleep a bit more now. Have to get up for work soon. Peace, ec

So you still work? Does that seem to help you with everything? I'm going in circles right now working on putting in a disability claim through Veterans. My husband was in Guam for a year and you hear a lot about PSP and Guam. It's quite the process but I feel I have to go forward with it. Take Care and Peace to you also!

I hadn't heard about the Guam connection, but all the military bases seem to be chemical nightmares, so I can imagine a link. I do work, may hang on for another couple of years. I like my job and the people I work with. You?


Talk to the case worker about the Home Based Primary Care program. I also think income isn't considered as much once a certain level of disability (group 4 designated maybe) is reached, service related or not. Dad was under VA care plus enrolled in a few of the benefits programs. A couple that come to mind are Aid and Attendance plus one that used to be call VIP (Veterans Indpendence Program). The latter has been renamed but a case worker should be able to figure it out the new name. If you have ever thought about a state run VA nursing home, apply early as the wait times are incredible. Dad never made into the one we applied (application accepted April 2017). Some of the benefits stop if a nursing home is used.

I navigated the VA health system for dad and while it seems quite daunting I do feel the farther you get in the system the easier it becomes.

If you have any questions just ask and I'll help the best I can.


Aurala in reply to Dadshelper

I’m very interested in learning about these programs. My husband is 100% service connected and can get equipment, some med and 16 hours of aide services, but I never heard of these programs except Aide & Attendance which is means based. I had applied for my father who se application wa accepted, but about 6 months after receiving benefits they wanted him to rerun the benefits already received because he had a federal pension ( which had been disclosed). I fought the repayment, but he lost the A&A benefit. My dad’s disability wasn’t service connected. Maybe I should revisit it for my husband. How did you access it? With my father I recall contacting a group( maybe in Boston) that helped with that process.

Dadshelper in reply to Aurala

Dad's primary doctor was within the VA system and she mentioned these programs. You could call the VA and talk to a social/case worker also, be prepared for long hold times. If there is a local DAV (Disabled American Vets) in your area they can probably give you some assistance also. HBPC, home based primary care, is just what it sounds like. A team is assigned and they come to the home. Naturally there is a waiting list, many more Vets then teams can handle. VIP (different name now) is a stipend paid to the Vet for use in hiring in-home carers and paying for anything the VA won't cover or supply. It's handled by a 3rd party who does basically payroll for anyone the Vet chooses, all carers are vetted and background checked before they can be "hired". Any items must be approved beforehand.

Hope that helps....


Aurala in reply to Dadshelper

Have someone researching HBCare ( social worker’s intern). No one had heard of it! Now the VIP piece, who would help with accessing that? I’ll bet my husband’s doctors and social worker at the VA never heard of that either

Dadshelper in reply to Aurala

If my memory is correct it was the social worker on the HBPC team who brought up the VIP, Veteran's Independence Program. Like I said it's been renamed and I don't recall that name.


PS: I THINK this is what it's called now...

Aurala in reply to Dadshelper

Just trying to access the HBPC team right now is a challenge. Thanks so much for the information.

How good to hear positive news of resources available. Hope your hubby can get all the help he needs now and in the future

Love Tippy

You are So right. We applied for VA health benefits and disability and were denied. I received a call asking if we were interested in medical benefits alone. I explained the situation and a kind man (on the phone) helped up get Dan approved for health care benefits.

At that time I realized it did not benefit us. We pay for a good Medicare Supplement with no co-pays which covers any neurologist etc. With VA we would have co-pays , new docs etc. We were most interested in home healthcare and respite once a week so I could get help bathing and moving him and maybe get out A bit.

I was told that was available through the Aid and Attendence Program, but we did not qualify . The program has income requirements we did not meet at that time.

On another site a women suggested asking about Home Based Healthcare. I called a social worker and was referred to a team who evaluated Dan. It has truly been the biggest blessing to us. He was granted a Catastrophic category . Our team is wonderful . The emotional support of knowing I have a nurse to call when I’m worried is So nice. We are in Wisconsin and so happy with the kindness and knowledge of our team.

Dan was unable to walk, said about 5 words a day and was already doubly incontinent when he was evaluated. He has been a two person transfer and it is very difficult to get him into a vehicle .

Best of luck. 💜

Aurala in reply to Karynleitner

We have been talking to the same social worker for years who knows about how dire my husband’s situation has become. No one ever mentioned Home Based Healthcare which is what we need desperately.

Aurala in reply to Karynleitner

How does home based healthcare work? How do the help? I just contacted the social worker on the portal. Thank you for any specific information.

Hi there. I have mentioned a few times, in replies to posts, that the Veterans Medical Center has been a tremendous resource to my husband with CBD. (We are in the Southeast.) Yes, there are income limits for some services, but not for all and the suggestion to talk with a VAMC social worker is a good one. In our experience the VA, unlike many agencies, tries hard to say "Yes" instead of "No." At the urging of a friend who was familiar with the VAMC systems, I requested an evaluation of my husband for Catastrophic Disability. The neurologist agreed immediately during the exam. Since then, my husband has had excellent physical therapy services, prosthetic equipment services and...Home Based Primary Care which is awesome! It had become a challenge to get him to the VAMC, navigate the corridors, walk very slowly with his rollator and endure the rides back and forth as he is uncomfortable in the car and often in pain because of the limits of the seat recline. The team comes to our home and mails prescriptions to our home. By the way, we learned that once he qualified for Catastrophic Disability, there is no copay on prescription medications. When we want the opinion of a neurologist at a national specialty clinic, we just pay for it out of pocket. (Many people are intimidated by the thought of going to Mayo Clinic or other major centers but our most recent consult was under $ 300 and worth it for the peace of mind of having someone with a lot of CBD experience make some recommendations. I think the tricky part would come if neurologist orders MRIs or expensive diagnostics and in that case you would either need to have a private pay supplement or work with the VAMC for a referral to a major national center. )

Hope this helps.


Good morning, believe me it is who you talk to at the VA, you have to file a claim first, medical help is for any service enlisted person, in 6 weeks, we received a hospital bed, a custom tilt wheel chair, A VA Doctor and RN who has come out ,mwhich they will come out once a month, OT, Social services, plus a few more, plus 12 hours a week help time, also if he has to be put in a military home if needed. They do not go by your income. Nettie

Karynleitner in reply to Tttp

Is 12 hours a week the maximum time VA will grant for home healthcare help? We are now getting 8, which is great. They did say we could be approved for more when needed. My primary problem is moving him. I do not want him to stay in bed, but transferring is definitely a two person job at best. Actually when we have 3 people, it’s the best.

My hubby was already enrolled in the VA medical system had to meet with his doc min 2 years to stay in the system but

the doc preferred to see him every year. He gets his glasses and hearing aids from the VA. In the meantime he is on Medicare and AARP (United Health Care) and Tricare for prescriptions. So he goes to his general doc, neurologists, blood work, labs etc thru his insurance. From what I found out the Aid and Attendance is for limited income, you get a monetary amount, but he will be on the Catastrophic Disability which is available regardless of income. Sounds like they supply almost everything and respite care for the caretaker. Just get into the VA system and you can keep any other insurance for what you need but VA is the only program which will help with home care apart from hospice which they also offer. Medicare will not help there.

Yes, there is no copays with Catastrophic Category. They provide meds, wheel chair etc. It is wonderful. I have no experience with Aid and Attendance as we do not qualify. With the catastrophic program VA arranges your home healthcare worker directly and tells them how many hour you can have. That was great for us. I have help twice a week. It’s just enough to give me a little help. My husband is hard to take anywhere, particularly if he’s not feeling well . The ability to call his nurse for help is a great sense of security .

Here is a link to info on the VA health care. this is a good site

Hi the VA told us that we could have 12 hours a week, my brother is not mobile at all the Doctor and a RN come once a month to the house to check my brother, he is on comfort care DNR, so sad to watch him just waste away, when the end nears it will be bittersweet. Nettie

We were told we don’t qualify because I make to much money. So does this mean that you think we could get help.

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