Geriatrics and Extended Care
VA Long Term Care Services
Services at Home and in the Community are part of the VA Medical Benefits Package. All enrolled Veterans are eligible for these services. However, to get the service you must have a clinical need for it, and the service must be available in your location. Services in the VA Standard Benefits Package include:
- Geriatric Evaluation to assess your care needs and to create a care plan
- Adult Day Health Care
- Respite Care
- Skilled Home Health Care
Some Services at Home and in the Community may be prioritized based on your level of VA service-connected disability.
Residential Settings and Nursing Homes have different eligibility requirements for each setting. The VA does not pay for room and board in residential settings such as Assisted Living or Adult Family Homes. However, you may receive some Services at Home and in the Community while you are living in a residential setting. The VA also provides Community Living Center (VA Nursing Home) or community nursing home care IF you meet certain eligibility criteria involving your service-connected status, level of disability, and income.
Factors that Affect Your Costs for VA Services
When you enroll in VA health care, your (1) VA service-connected disability status and (2) income will be reviewed to determine if you will be charged a copay for VA health care services and VA long term care services. Long term care copays are different from standard VA health care copays because they are not charged until the 22nd day of care. Copays are NOT charged for Hospice Care provided in any setting. However, the VA is required by law to bill any health insurance you may have (except Medicare) for treatment of conditions that are not service connected. Payments received from your insurance company may reduce the copays that VA bills to you.
How do I apply for long term care services in VA?
Standard Medical Benefits
Veterans must be enrolled in VA health care before applying for VA long term care services. Enrolled in VA health care means you have applied for VA health care benefits and receive care through a VA facility on a regular basis. Receiving financial compensation for a VA disability does NOT automatically enroll you in VA health care. You may be eligible for VA health care services (known as the Standard Medical Benefits Package) if you served in the military and were discharged for any reason other than dishonorable. Detailed eligibility information can be found on the main VA Health Benefits website.
To Enroll in Health Care Services
- Visit your local VA medical center’s New Patient Registration office to complete and submit the VA Application for Health Benefits, or
- Enroll online: Online Application for Health Benefits