Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services, referred to as “Independence Plus” can cover a wide range of goods and services, but there are limitations. For example, the following are not covered through “Independence Plus”…

— Any service duplication. That is, a service benefit which the veteran already receives from the Veteran Administration
— Monthly rent, mortgage payments, or room and board
— Personal items, living expenses, and services not related to one’s disability or independence
— Experimental treatments which have not been medically approved by the Veteran Administration

Participants in the “Independence Plus” program receive a monthly budget to use for their personal care and relevant supplies in place of receiving the same from the VA Health Care system. To be clear, the veteran authorizes the agency to pay service providers on his or her behalf, but does not personally receive the cash payments.

“Independence Plus” is a program still in various stages of development in different states across the country. As is often the case, participation requirements may change as the program matures. In Massachusetts, this program started in 2009 and is being rolled out through local VA Medical Centers. Currently, “Independence Plus” is being managed and administered out of Bedford, MA.

Any/all veteran applicants should contact their local VA Medical Center to learn more specific details concerning their care requirements, and to determine final eligibility.

– John D. Miller is the owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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