Answer: I have had this situation in my office before. Because your co-worker’s father already receives the $700 per month, it would not pay for him to seek what are known as “aid and attention” benefits to bring in someone to care for his wife. The $700 would be reduced by the amount of benefits that the VA MIGHT give. Aid and attention benefits are actually called “improved pension benefits.” It does sound like your friend’s wife has long term care needs that would be better served in a skilled nursing facility. Some states have some home care programs that are available, but this could be a “patchwork quilt” that would not offer her appropriate continuity of care. I realize a lot of people hate to do this, but depending upon his situation–eg. the amount of assets he has, whether or not he has made transfers etc. his wife could be eligible for Medicaid either at home (Medicaid Waiver, Personal Care Assistant) or in a skilled facility. I would seriously urge your friend to seek out the services of an Elder Law Attorney in your area.
You can find Elder Law Attorneys who are located near you by searching the following Elder Care Matters site: www.ElderCareMatters.com/statechapters.htm
Susana Lannik, Attorney at Law
Newton, Massachusetts 02458
Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance, Massachusetts chapter
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