Archives for posts with tag: Veterans Aid & Attendance pension

In honor of Veterans Day, I am re-posting a memo from the Social Security Administration…

Every Veterans Day, the nation honors the brave men and women who risk their lives to protect our country and the freedoms we cherish. Social Security honors veterans and active duty members of the military every day by giving them the support they deserve. A vital part of that is administering the Social Security disability program.

For those who return home with injuries, Social Security is a resource they can turn to for disability benefits. Social Security’s Wounded Warriors website is at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors.

The Wounded Warriors website has answers to many commonly asked questions, and shares other useful information about disability benefits, including how veterans can receive expedited processing of disability claims. Benefits available through Social Security are different from those available from the Department of Veterans Affairs and require a separate application.

The expedited process is available to military service members who become disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurs.

Even active duty military who continue to receive pay while in a hospital or on medical leave should consider applying for disability benefits if they’re unable to work due to a disabling condition. Active duty status and receipt of military pay doesn’t necessarily prevent payment of Social Security disability benefits. Although a person can’t receive Social Security disability benefits while engaging in substantial work for pay or profit, receipt of military payments should never stop someone from applying for disability benefits from Social Security.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/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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Timely re-post from the Social Security Administration as we approach Memorial Day…

“Traditionally, on Memorial Day we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

The unexpected loss of a service member is a difficult experience for the family. Social Security helps by providing benefits to protect service members’ dependents. Widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits.

It’s also important to recognize those service members who are still with us, especially those who have been wounded. Just as they served us, we have the obligation to serve them. Social Security has benefits to protect veterans when an injury prevents them from returning to active duty.

Wounded military service members can also receive expedited processing of their disability claims. For example, Social Security will provide expedited processing of disability claims filed by veterans who have a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Compensation rating of 100 percent Permanent & Total (P&T). Depending on the situation, some family members of military personnel, including dependent children and, in some cases, spouses, may be eligible to receive benefits.

Service members can also receive Social Security in addition to military retirement benefits. The good news is that your military retirement benefit does not reduce your Social Security retirement benefit.

Service members are also eligible for Medicare at age 65. If you have health insurance from the VA or under the TRICARE or CHAMPVA programs, your health benefits may change, or end, when you become eligible for Medicare.”

You can learn more about Social Security survivors benefits at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/survivors.
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– John D. Miller is the founder/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

Are you ready to care for your aging parents?

According to a recent poll, almost half of our population have taken no steps, and made no plans, to care for elderly parents or family members. Take notice…the time will arrive for all of us. Realistically, this results in an emotionally charged scramble as a reaction to a parental emergency.

Take some time to prepare for an elderly parent and health issues. Get a handle on legal documents, bank accounts, savings and investment and professional contacts who can help the family gain access to your parents’ financial planning.

Is there a trusted financial advisor who has worked with your aging parents? Most investment strategies will change after retirement. Get an understanding as to resources, and any investment vehicles which may provide retirement income. Investments and stock portfolio, 401(k) or Roth IRA funds, veterans benefits, social security, long-term care insurance and government assistance such as Medicare and Medicaid, are all possible resources to investigate. Last week, I attended a seminar on long term planning…and there are certainly some creative annuity products in the marketplace to assist in generating retirement income.

Can your parents remain in their own home? Or are they interested in moving into a senior community? Once you understand the type of living situation and care level needed, you can set a budget and find sources of income to help pay for elder needs.

Get your family talking and develop relationships with the professionals who can make this otherwise difficult life transition a confident and positive one.
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– John D. Miller is the founder/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

Location: Hingham Council on Aging, 224 Central St., Hingham, MA 02043

Date: 11am – 2pm, Friday, November 6th, 2015.

Event: “4th Annual…Informed Aging & Your Future” seminar will feature a panel of 8 elder specialists representing industries that cater to and provide professional services for the elderly and their families. Panelists from health care, legal, financial, domestic, and life-care planning arenas will be on hand to present information on the “industry of aging”, and shed light on the myriad of decisions confronted by seniors as they age in place. Topics include: estate planning, financial resources for home assistance, legal, assisted living options, medical care/end of life, and more.

No cost for entry. Event is free and all are welcome, regardless of whether they reside in Hingham or not. Lunch will be provided free of charge.

To register, please call:
Hingham Council on Aging
224 Central St
Hingham, MA 02043-2745
(781) 741-1458

In an effort to quantify the readiness of families to provide care for their senior loved ones, a recent survey conducted by “A Place For Mom” revealed some of the following hightlights:

Steps to Ease the Transition for aging parents.

1. Learn About Family Assets/Affairs. The first step in planning for your long-term care is an open and frank discussion with family about where they can find your parents’ financial assets. Putting one’s affairs in order is as simple as sharing information about legal documents, bank accounts, savings and investment and professional contacts who can help the family gain access to your parents’ financial legacy.

2. Professional Resources. Take the time to speak to a Senior Living Advisor. Whether you are seeking long-term care or not, speaking to a Senior Living Advisor now will help you understand the type of living situation that you want to pursue when your loved one is ready. Do your parents favor remaining in their home? Are they interested in moving to assisted living? A proactive measure here can save a lot of time and energy that you’ll need at a more critical period of decision making.

3. Talk to Your Financial Advisor. Most investment strategies will change after retirement. A financial advisor is a key professional who will help you understand the investment vehicles for generating retirement income, as well as those that will help pay for senior care. By having a healthy relationship with your financial advisor, you can avoid senior scams and feel confident that your financial priorities are being looked after.

4. Budget for Senior Care. Once you understand the type of living situation and care level you’re likely to require, you can set a budget and find sources of income to help pay for your needs. Investments and 401(k) money is one source, but be sure to consider all of the options available to you, including veterans benefits, long-term care insurance and government assistance such as Medicare and Medicaid, if eligible. Many of these resources come with limitations and/or eligibility requirements, but you should be informed as to which may fit for your given situation.
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– John D. Miller is the founder/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

I came across this information recently. It represents a summary of macro issues concerning our aging senior population…

“Increased access to private pay options will be critical to funding care for a rapidly growing senior population.

The growing senior population is increasing demand for senior care services. Medicare and Medicaid will only cover certain forms of care for those that can qualify. The Senior Living industry will need to do more to help educate the consumer about available options to “private pay” for senior care services.

Programs such as the Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Benefit, converting life insurance policies into a Long Term Care Benefit Account, Long Term Care Insurance and Annuities, senior loans and accessing equity in homes, as well as creating incentives to do more with savings, income and investments are all critical parts of how seniors today, and in the future, will be able afford the costs of senior care and housing.”

One of the major messages here…seniors have to take the responsibility to plan for their own living and health related expenses as they age. There is no “golden parachute” from the government or any other source. Elders need to financially plan for the living expenses associated with aging.
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– John D. Miller is the founder/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

On Wednesday, May 21, 2014, former Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary, Eric Shinseki, directed Veterans Health Administration (VHA) leadership to personally review their processes to ensure the VA is doing everything possible to schedule Veterans for their appointments.

Veterans Affairs has subsequently redoubled its efforts to provide quality care to Veterans and has taken steps at national and local levels to ensure timely access to care. The Veterans Health Administration has developed the Accelerating Care Initiative (ACI), a coordinated, system-wide initiative to accelerate care to Veterans. This action was promptly communicated to administrative leadership in the field on May 22, 2014. The implementation was launched the following day, on the morning of May 23rd.

The Accelerating Care Initiative allows VA providers to utilize non-VA medical care for eligible Veterans when the VA medical center cannot provide the care due to unavailability of the service because of a lack of timely capacity and/or capability. The purpose of the initiative is to strengthen access to care in the VA system, while also ensuring flexibility to use private sector care when needed in accordance with VA guidelines.

For additional information and details, see: http://www.nonvacare.va.gov/

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– John D. Miller is the founder/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

Most people return from war, and with time and support from family and friends, readjust. But everyone is different. How do you know when things are going in the wrong direction, and when you or someone you care about needs some help?

Veterans may feel overwhelmed with their inner thoughts, and have difficulty controlling their emotions. You may feel as if you are always on alert, jumpy and easily startled. You may have difficulty concentrating at school or at work. You might start to avoid crowds, public places, even family gatherings or any situation that makes you feel anxious. You may be anxious, irritable or quick tempered with family or friends. Some people get angry or very impatient with family members over little things like decision-making. After all, when you are in combat, decisions are made quickly without discussion. It’s a big adjustment to stay calm when your teenager is arguing about using the car or your six-year old is refusing to brush his teeth before school.

Intense feelings of guilt or fear are common—but so is the opposite extreme. Veterans dealing with post traumatic stress may feel numb, and find that it’s hard to trust others, or enjoy all the people and life activities previously experienced. Traumatic stress has changed the emotional balance in many Veterans.

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John D. Miller is the founder/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

For anyone who has known a returning wartime veteran in recent years, there is an awareness and great concern over the condition known as “post traumatic stress disorder”. Veterans young and old, male and female, who are subjected to the stress of combat can experience great difficulty in the process of re-adjustment to civilian life. And many are forced to deal with an “invisible wound.”

Coming home after a deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan is challenging for everyone, and most service members and veterans will experience some signs of stress. But for many people, symptoms of combat stress get worse. For some, signs of combat stress or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) may not appear for several months after they come home.

    Veterans and family members are affected.

It is estimated that one in three returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are vulnerable to post combat stress and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI), which are the result of exposure to explosions in the war theater which produce blast fields and blast waves which affect the biological functions of the body.

Post traumatic stress disorder, or combat stress, are terms used to describe the conditions which affects hundreds of thousands of veterans. Many military personnel returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan grapple with combat stress and/or traumatic brain injury. This is normal…it is the human body’s reaction to a traumatic event. But our veterans need professional, medical help to live a normal, healthy life.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/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

In the United States, people do a lot to recognize and honor the heroes who serve(d) in the Armed Forces and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. July is an appropriate month to recognize veterans and wounded warriors, as we celebrate our nation’s independence.

On July 12, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law a measure to award the U.S. Medal of Honor “to such noncommissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldier-like qualities during the present insurrection.” According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, since that time a total of 3,487 medals have been awarded.

Also in July, way back in 1930, Congress signed a bill to authorize the President to issue an executive order establishing the Veterans Administration, or VA. President Herbert Hoover signed an executive order to create the Veterans Administration on July 21st of that same year.

As a friend of mine continually reminds all those within earshot…”Freedom is not Free.” It comes at a cost to military men, women, and families. When you see a veteran, say “thank you”.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/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