As a veteran's widow, what home health care benefit is Mom eligible for?

A fellow caregiver asked...

My mother is the wife of a 100% veteran. She is now ill and needs home health care. She only has Medicare and they say she is not eligible for more than four hours of aide and not for long. Can you tell me if she is eligible for benefits from the Veterans Administration and how we can get them? I work full-time and don't really have the time to go down there. Mom had a silent heart attack and a mild stroke followed. She is now home and I need to know what help she can get.

Expert Answer

Rita Files, LPN, VSR, a nationally recognized expert on the elderly, has more than 30 years of experience in the health care industry, with 20 years focused on eldercare. She has developed programs for many leading providers in the senior living industry. Accredited through the V.A. in veterans' benefits, she is an advocate and powerful resource committed to educating veterans and their families about the nonservice connected pension benefit and providing them with accurate information. She is cofounder and COO of Aging with Grace.

As the widow of an eligible service connected veteran, Mom may be eligible to receive VA Death Pension Benefits to help supplement the cost of in home health care services. Since there are a number of [criteria that may affect eligibility] ( for this pension benefit, visit the VA web site to view the eligibility requirements.

If after reviewing the eligibility requirements you are still unsure if Mom meets all the criteria, you can visit AWG Veteran Services for a free pre-qualification analysis of eligibility. This, as well as the actual filing for the benefits, can be done without taking the time out of your schedule to visit a VA office.