How the Aid and Attendance benefit helps veterans in Connecticut
Receiving aid with daily tasks can make a significant improvement in the quality of life for Connecticut seniors. For those who served the country bravely, the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance Pension program is available to help make this level of improvement a little more attainable. Eligible Connecticut vets and their surviving spouses can qualify should they need aid in various activities for daily living (also known as ADLs). These tasks could include rudimentary functions like dressing, bathing, eating, transportation for errands and appointments, and medication management, although it should be noted that eligible applicants don’t need to require aid with everything in order to qualify. A&A recipients can also utilize these funds to help pay for costs associated with home care, skilled nursing home care, or assisted living.
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It should be noted that the application process to receive Aid and Attendance Pension benefits is a long one. It could take several months from start to finish. However, applicants who are approved can receive retroactive benefits that can trace back to the original application date. If you need assistance with this process, Connecticut has several resources in place that can help you with your questions or needs. The Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs offers the state’s vets a full complement of services that can range from assisted living homes to providing legal aid. What’s more, the organization works in concert with the state’s Office of Advocacy and Assistance to aid vets and their family members with various benefits, referrals, and other forms of advocacy. To get started on being connected with the state’s services, visit www.ct.gov/ctva.
What is assisted living like?
There is some variance in assisted living facilities. The facilities that are located in larger cities like Hartford will be ideal for those that still want to be close to metropolitan perks such as restaurants, shops, and cultural activities. On the flip side, those who prefer the quiet nature of suburbia may gravitate toward an assisted living community in a bedroom community, where parks and familiar chain retailers rule the day.
The facilities also have variances based on interests. Some places are run by religious organizations and feature various activities and observances that are in line with the particular faith’s belief system. There are also homes that are wholly dedicated to serving veterans, which may be of interest to vets that want to spend their days enjoying the inimitable spark of camaraderie amongst those that have proudly served their country.
Each assisted living facility is home to various services that are contained within the monthly room and board fee. Basic services typically include key elements for proper senior care-fueled living, such as private living spaces, 24-hour security and nurse access, call buttons in the rooms in case of a sudden emergency, meals, housekeeping, utilities, and laundry. These essential services can be augmented for an extra fee. Extra services that could be added include salon care, massage therapy, and personalized laundry and transportation service. Because these latter services vary from venue to venue, it is always a wise idea to research to see what is included and what is constituted as an add-on perk at every assisted living facility considered. It is also prudent to ask if the facility also offers continuum of care, in which a resident can stay on the campus should their assisted living needs change over time.
What does assisted living cost in Connecticut?
According to data culled from Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of assisted living in Connecticut is $59,400 per year, which is far above the average nationwide cost of $43,539. This price tag translates to a monthly cost of $4,950 and a daily cost of $163. Precise costs will vary based on the city and the region that the facility is located in. The state’s annual home health care costs check in at $45,760 for homemaker services and $50,336 for home health aide services. It also represents a substantial savings in comparison to Connecticut’s nursing home care costs, which can break down to an annual cost of $148,373 for a semi-private room and $160,600 for a private room.
Veterans and their spouses that do qualify for the A&A Pension Benefit can utilize the benefits they receive to help cover the assisted living costs. The benefit can provide upwards of $1,794 per month to a vet, $1,153 per month to a surviving spouse, or $2,127 per month to a couple. A veteran that files with a sick spouse can be eligible for as much as $1,410 per month.
Resources and recreation for veterans in Connecticut
The Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs runs several programs to help serve and support the state’s veterans, with such services as housing, event notification via e-mail, and specialized support programs. Connecticut is also a great place to enjoy military history - something that is not exactly surprising, given the fact that it was one of the original 13 colonies. These various points of interest are scattered throughout the state, and they make for a great day excursion, a field trip with fellow assisted living residents, or a family visit. What’s more, a lot of these special destinations welcome veterans on a volunteer basis, which allows each vet to share stories and their expertise with younger generations.
Indeed, the state’s military-themed points of interest span centuries and wars. The U.S. Military Museum is home to large land vehicles and weaponry culled from World War II. As the name suggest, the New England Civil War Museum tells the tale of the Civil War from the Union’s perspective. Those that consider themselves Revolutionary War buffs will have plenty of unique points of interest to discover, from historic buildings that were standing during the historic battle to battlefields where Benedict Arnold fought before becoming a turncoat. Because of the relatively small size of Connecticut, there are various mobile tours that are available that can cover a lot of what the state has to offer.
Connecticut wartime veterans are eligible for a $1,500 exemption for property tax purposes and have the option to choose to apply this exemption to their real estate or automobile tax. Certain veterans, who do not own real property or a motor vehicle, may be eligible for a tax refund if they are leasing a motor vehicle. Additionally, veterans below a certain income level or service connected disabled veterans are eligible for additional property tax exemptions, as do eligible surviving spouses. Contact your local Tax Assessor Officer for specific details.