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Many Vets Unaware of New Federally Funded Healthcare Services

Many Vets Unaware of New Federally Funded Healthcare Services
(Copyright DPC)

By    |   Friday, 01 December 2017 11:30 AM

Congress has passed new legislation, signed by President Donald Trump, extending a program allowing veterans to seek medical care in the private sector. But many vets may not be aware of this benefit, and others providing home healthcare assistance and other cost-free services.

Under the new law, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will be allowed to continue operating its so-called Choice Program until the funding runs out early next year. The program had been scheduled to expire on Aug. 7 with nearly $1 billion left over.

Trump said veterans have "not been taken care of properly" and that the program will continue to be able to see "the doctor of their choice."

Advocates of the program said it is needed to pay for stopgap services while the Trump administration works on a longer-term plan to revamp the VA health system, which has come under fire for long delays in veteran services and mismanagement.

The Choice Program was instituted after a series of 2014 media reports that dozens of veterans died while waiting months to be scheduled for appointments at VA medical centers. It is limited to veterans who live more than 40 miles from a VA medical center or face long delays (more than 30 days) to receive VA services.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said more than 1 million veterans have made 7 million appointments with private healthcare providers under the Choice Program. More than 1 million out of 9 million veterans in the VA system use some Choice care, officials said.

The Choice Program is just one of several veteran healthcare programs that many vets may not be aware of and are available to them free of charge.

For example, Thomas C. Gregory Sr., a United States Navy Veteran, and his wife Linda established VetserV-USA, Inc. six years ago, which helps veterans take advantage of a little-known VA benefit providing home healthcare services and assisted living assistance to those in need.

Based in Coral Springs, Fla., VetserV has helped thousands of veterans 65 and older – or their surviving spouses – to receive the tax-free benefit called “Aid and Attendance Benefit,” which is available through the Department of Veteran Affairs.

“The benefit, part of the Veterans Benefit Program, is designed to provide financial aid to help offset the cost of home care or assisted living for those who need help with the activities of daily living,” says Gregory.

“Many Veterans are unaware of this benefit, which goes by the nickname of the ‘Ghost Pension.’ This is not a cash benefit; it is a reimbursement benefit for in-home services or assisted living rent. Other services covered are things such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, transportation, mobility, bathing, dressing and other activities of daily living.”

The following are the minimum standards required to qualify for this benefit:

  • Veterans and/or surviving spouses must be at least 65 years of age.
  • Veterans must have actively served for at least 90 days during World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, or Persian Gulf War.
  • Veteran must have been honorably discharged.

“VetserV-USA, Inc., a private company, is dedicated to helping war era veterans and their surviving spouses receive this benefit which they so deserve,” says Gregory, noting that their services help veterans with qualification and the application process and there is never any “out-of-pocket” cost to the veterans or spouses.

For more information: Call VetserV at 1-855-509-0107.

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Many veterans are unaware of VA healthcare programs available to them free of charge. Thomas C. Gregory Sr., a United States Navy Veteran, and his wife Linda established VetserV-USA, Inc., to address veteran needs and raise awareness.
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Friday, 01 December 2017 11:30 AM
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