The Veterans Administration offers a broad range of benefits to its veteran constituents, such as the Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services (“Independence Plus”) program — which is a unique benefit designed to allow veterans who are potential candidates for nursing home placement to manage their own care. The program provides veterans with a budget and allows them to choose their own care providers in place of receiving care services from the VA health care system.

With “Independence Plus”, veterans prioritize their own care needs, select their own care providers, and act as an employer instead of receiving nursing home care from the VA directly. Enrollment is open to eligible veterans of any age.

Benefit Amounts & Limits:

The monthly budget allocated for a veteran’s care depends on their individual requirements and is determined during the development of their Care Plan. The maximum amount may actually vary from state to state. Further, not all states even offer this program. However, it is offered in most New England states, including Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Connecticut.

Typically the cost of this care cannot exceed the cost for the same care were it provided by the VA in a skilled nursing facility. In real dollar terms, budget maximums rarely exceed $4,000./month. Veterans do not incur any costs to participate in the program.

Unfortunately, the time period to prepare and receive approval for a Care Plan can be lengthy. Participants should expect several months before actually beginning to receive care services at home. The process can be accelerated if a participant begins the hiring process for care providers (after submitting their Care Plan) while waiting for its approval. However, no payments can be made until the Care Plan has been approved.