Can Your Parent's Veteran Status Help When It Comes Time To Move To Assisted Living?

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If you've recently been tasked with finding your parent an assisted living arrangement once he or she can no longer safely or comfortably live alone, you may be wondering where to begin. While there's no shortage of assisted living facilities in just about every part of the country, paying for this care can be another matter entirely -- and for those who are already retired and on a fixed income, there simply may not be enough extra cash to rent an assisted living apartment or pay the mortgage on a townhouse or condominium. Fortunately, for military veterans, there may be additional options. Read on to learn more about some programs that can help military veterans pay their assisted living expenses, as well as some alternative paths toward assisting your parent in paying for this care without putting your own assets on the line.

Pension benefits

Those who have been honorably discharged from the military or who have retired and are pension-eligible may be able to receive additional pension benefits payable toward assisted living expenses. This "Aid and Attendance" benefit is designed to cover veterans who require some degree of care in their daily lives, whether assistance with feeding, bathing, medical needs, or other tasks. In combination with the military pension (and Social Security benefits where applicable), this additional benefit can sometimes be enough to cover monthly assisted living fees without dipping into other savings.

Social Security Disability

For situations in which your parent isn't quite at Social Security age but is unable to continue working due to disabilities not connected with military service, Social Security Disability (SSD) may be an option. This disability benefit provides a monthly payment based on your parent's earning history, much like Social Security retirement. At full retirement age, the SSD benefits will then convert to regular Social Security retirement benefits. One advantage to this method is the ease with which the potential benefits can be calculated -- in most cases, your parent can ascertain his or her estimated benefit by logging on to the Social Security Administration's website or calling their local office.

Reverse mortgage

If your parent owns his or her current home, a reverse mortgage may be one way to get the funds needed to buy into an assisted living apartment without going through the potentially lengthy process of listing and selling the house. Upon your parent's death or the end of the mortgage term, the title of the home will revert to the bank, providing your parent with the use of home equity funds in the interim. 

For more information about helping your veteran parent transition into an assisted living environment, talk with professional centers, like Grace Assisted Living.