By Max Greenberg
Veterans Day - Reach OutUploaded: Nov 11, 2015
Everyone knows it's Veterans Day today (big assumption?), and most people know at least one person who was in the military. Whether you are pro-war, anti-war, pro-this-war-but not-that-war, or a war profiteer (check your mutual funds basket or your employer's end users), today would be a good day to pick up the phone and wish someone a "Happy Veterans Day" (the best greeting I could come up with.) And if the vet is a senior and has a living situation where he/she can't afford to eat healthy foods, go to the doctor when needed, is isolated in their small rented apt or rented room, and that veteran served at least one day during a combat era ie. WWII, Korea, Viet Nam etc (does not have to have served in a combat zone - could have been stationed stateside or in Japan for example), the vet may be eligible for a seldom-accessed program provided by the VA: The Aid & Attendence Program. This program provides low income vets with money to cover or help them pay for much of the costs of living in an assisted living community provided they need assistance with all or some of the activities of daily living (ADLs) ie. getting dressed, taking medication, preparing meals...This program is for needy veterans, as well as their surviving spouses. It's not something the VA will make it easy for someone to qualify for. When I worked at a middle-class retirement community in Santa Clara we helped vets connect with an intermediary who could pre-qualify the vet and helped with all the paperwork, which in itself can be discouraging. Caution: some intermediaries are interested in moving assets into a trust to potentially help a vet qualify for the program, and have been found to be most interested in their fees to do this. No one can charge you to counsel and help you apply for this program.)
So if you know a senior Vet who lives in Palo Alto, for example, there's a good chance they won't qualify due to exceeding the income/asset levels. If that's the case, think about a vet in another part of the country who you know who might need some help and could benefit from the A&A program, and just ask them if they know about it. If the only vet you know is your dad from WWII and he's fairly well off, ask him if he can think of a vet, maybe some guy he sees at McDonalds buying a senior cup of coffee, and ask him to reach out to that guy. If 1000 people read this post, 1000 vets in need could be made aware of this program. Please pass it on. And Happy Veterans Day.