Sunday, May 02, 2010

Financial Assistance for Caregivers Taking Care of Parents

An anonymous reader asked me:
"I need to get fianancial assistance for taking care of my parents- - where do I go to receive such benefits." - anonymous

This would actually depend on where you live and what your situation is, but I will do my best to offer a broad spectrum answer here.

A bill was just passed through the Senate that allows caregivers to veterans injured in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001 to receive assistance from the VA. I am thrilled to see that bill get passed, but, realistically, it does little for the rest of us. I care for an 80 year old WWII veteran, but the bill does nothing for me that I have been able to discern so far.

Assuming that you are not caring for a veteran, then the place I would start is your local Public Assistance office. If you are low income, then you should qualify to receive a monthly food stamp stipend to help you afford to eat more healthy, which really *REALLY* helps out when healthy food can cost so much more than junk food - especially if you are looking for fast to grab stuff you can snack on during a too busy day.

I know that in my situation, I qualify for a small amount of food stamp assistance, but nothing else. No medical or financial aid or anything like that. I would gladly give up the food help for a once a year visit with a doctor too.

Even if the public assistance office can't help you, they should be able to point you toward what resources are available in your area.

If you are caring for a veteran, then your first stop should be the local Veteran's Administration office. Someone at the VA should be able to point you in the right direction.

In some states there are programs, which you can find through your local Public Assistance office, that allow family members to be paid for the care provided to a parent who receives medicaid. (NOTE: Medicaid is not the same as Medicare. My father gets Medicare, so I can not get any kind of assistance, because the local programs where I am all work through Medicaid only.)

I will provide more information on this later, but for now this should get you started. Thanks for the question.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Assistance for caregivers of those injured in line of duty after 9/11

Good news for some family caregivers of veterans. A few days ago the VA Watchdog announced Senate Passes Family Caregiver Bill to Help Wounded Veterans and Their Families -- Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Press Release from VA Watchdog dot Org - 04-22-2010

You can read the actual bill that was passed the Caregivers
and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010
, which is an act to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide assistance to caregivers of veterans, to improve the provision of health care to veterans, and for other purposes.

As I said, it will help some family caregivers of veteran's, with limitations as to what qualifies a veteran for the purposes of the bill.


‘‘(2) For purposes of this subsection, an eligible veteran is
any individual who—
  • ‘‘(A) is a veteran or member of the Armed Forces undergoing medical discharge from the Armed Forces;
  • ‘‘(B) has a serious injury (including traumatic brain injury, psychological trauma, or other mental disorder) incurred or aggravated in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service on or after September 11, 2001; and
  • ‘‘(C) is in need of personal care services because of—
           ‘‘(i) an inability to perform one or more activities of daily living;
           ‘‘(ii) a need for supervision or protection based on symptoms or residuals of neurological or other impairment or injury; or
           ‘‘(iii) such other matters as the Secretary considers appropriate.
So, to qualify for assistance, the caregiver needs to be the caregiver of a veteran who incurred serious injury, or had such an injury aggravated, in the line of active duty on or after September 11, 2001.

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