VA Programs: Independent and Supported Living
Many veterans live with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses that continue to affect their lives long after their service days have ended. Some of these veterans may require help with activities of daily living, or may benefit from some sort of assisted or supported living arrangement.
For qualifying veterans in this situation, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) covers some long-term care services, including assisted living centers or in-home care. Here, we’ve outlined some of the resources and programs available to veterans who need them:
Who Is Eligible for Help?
To be eligible for long-term care services through the VA, veterans must meet the following requirements:
- be signed up for VA health care benefits
- be recognized by the VA as needing a specific service to help with ongoing treatment and personal care
- have that service (or openings in appropriate care settings) available near you
In addition to these requirements, the VA may take other factors into consideration. In addition, some services may still require a copay even if they are covered by VA benefits.
What Services Are Available?
Depending on their circumstances and the nature of their illness or disability, different individuals may have different needs. For example, some might be able to live independently or with a caregiver and require only occasional in-home assistance, whereas others might do better in an assisted living center. According to the VA’s website, long-term care services and/or settings include the following:
- 24/7 nursing and medical care
- physical therapy
- assistance with activities of daily living (e.g., dressing, bathing, meals, medicine)
- comfort care and pain management
- caregiver support, including respite care
- nursing homes
- assisted living centers
- private caregiver-supported homes
- adult day centers
- in-home care
If you think you might be eligible for long-term care services, be sure to apply for VA health care benefits if you haven’t already done so. To determine your eligibility and get more information on how to access services, contact your VA social worker or call the VA hotline (877-222-8387).
National Veterans Homeless Support seeks to eliminate homelessness among veterans in Central Florida and nationwide. NVHS takes a proactive, intervention-based approach to homelessness by meeting homeless veterans where they are and helping them from there. Through programs like Search and Rescue Outreach, NVHS helps homeless veterans get the supplies they need to survive, connects them with support and resources, and helps them transition off the streets and into temporary or permanent housing. If you’re able, consider supporting our mission by donating or signing on as a volunteer.