How do I Qualify for VA Nursing Home Benefits?

by Kenneth W. Michael Wills

The Veterans Administration (VA) provides nursing home benefits through its network of participating nursing homes across the nation and at some VA facilities. According to VA regulations, accessing these benefits will require the veteran to receive care at one of the facilities, and the VA will not pay for benefits outside the participation network. The VA offers a variety of Long Term Care (LTC) benefits that include Nursing Home Care, Adult Day Care, and Respite Care. Qualifying for nursing home benefits gives preference to veterans with a service-connected disability or illness, you must demonstrate the need for nursing care, be actively seeking such service or receiving treatment for a service-connected disability.

Demonstrate you have a service-connected disability and are receiving treatment for that disability. The VA will already have documentation on file if you have a service-connected disability and will have all records for your treatment program. If you do not have a service-connected disability, you may still gain approval; however, you can expect to pay large co-payments to receive care and you will be assigned a low priority in for admittance.

Show documentation of your condition and that it requires nursing home care or benefits. This means you will need to show all medical records documenting your condition and recommendations from your doctors that you need nursing care treatment and to what degree you need to be under the care of a nursing home or nursing staff.

Tell the VA the estimated amount of time you will need nursing home care. The best way to estimate this is to confer with your doctor to determine an appropriate estimate. If your condition is one that might be indefinite, you may not receive approval.

Show the VA you have been seeking nursing home care in the community. Sometimes nursing homes are full and cannot accept any new patients, and if this is the reason you turned to the VA, make sure you explain this to the VA. The VA will then assign you a priority status. If you have had problems receiving care in the community, this will help you gain special consideration.

Enroll in the VA health care program if you have yet to do so. This will apply to those who are approaching the VA for the first time. The VA will walk you through this process and usually on takes a couple of hours. You will need to present all your medical files and your DD 214 (discharge papers).

Items you will need

  • Veteran without a dishonorable discharge
  • DD 214 (discharge papers)
  • All medical files military and civilian

About the Author

Kenneth W. Michael Wills is a writer on culture, society and business. With more than 15 years of experience in sales, public relations and written communications, Wills' passion is delighting audiences with invigorating perspectives and refreshing ideas. He has ghostwritten articles on a diverse range of topics for corporate websites and composed proposals for organizations seeking growth opportunities.

Photo Credits

  • nursing duties image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com