Can I move my mom home and she will still be eligible for Medicaid and VA assistance?
What are the steps to move mom from nursing home to home in regard to Medicaid and VA Aid & Attendance Pension? She will need both to manage financially.
The first thing to know about Medicaid and VA benefits is that they are completely separate -- separate rules, separate application processes, separate benefits. So, let's take them one at a time.
To qualify for Medicaid coverage of home care, your mother has to file an application with a local Medicaid office. If she's already covered by Medicaid for her nursing home stay, this should be easy. You can simply contact the Medicaid worker -- or at least the same local office -- who handles her nursing home coverage claim, and ask for the required forms for applying for home care coverage. Although both types of coverage are provided by Medicaid, the eligibility rules are somewhat different for each and so they may each require a separate application, or at least some extra updated information.
If your mother is not currently covered by Medicaid for her nursing home stay, then you'll have to help her file a new application for Medicaid home care coverage. To find out about Medicaid home care eligibility and in-home care coverage rules in your state, and to get the contact information for a local Medicaid office near you, go online to any search engine and enter Medicaid and the name of your state. Or you can call the Eldercare Locator toll-free at (800) 677-1116 and ask for contact information for your state's Medicaid program and a local office near you.
VA Aid & Attendance benefits are administered by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) and are completely separate from the Medicaid program. If your mother is a veteran who's eligible for a VA pension, or a veteran's surviving spouse who's eligible for a VA Death Pension monthly benefits payment, she may be eligible for Aid and Attendance cash benefits as well if she meets the eligibility standards of needing regular assistance with the tasks of daily living. To apply for Aid and Attendance benefits (and for other related VA benefits), contact the VA regional office in the region where your mother will be living. You can get free assistance with any VA-related question or application by phone or in person through one of the VA's Vet Centers, which are located in every state. You can also get assistance by contacting the VA's Veterans Benefits Administration office nearest you. The VA also has a toll-free telephone help line at 800-827-1000.
In my state, the at home care medicaid program is biased to assume that the family is in a position to provide the bulk of at home care. The state only covers 20 hours of outside help a week, upto 4 hours a do and respite care so you can have a vacation. So my state effectively makes you chose between quitting your job and livelihood vs. Placing the elderly parent full time in a nursing home. :( the brochures paint a rosy picture but when you talk to the agency about the details they advise you of the reality. Hopefully the situation in your state will be better.
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