Looking for Hidden Benefits

As a World War II veteran, my father first visited the VA in his 70’s to see if there was some assistance for his medical expenses. Turns out he had lost a testicle in WWII and was declared, in his 70’s, a disabled veteran because he had lost a body part.  He immediately started receiving $2,000 per month in compensation from the VA.  The ironic part is he could have been receiving this money his entire life, and what a difference in happiness this would have made in his life and our entire family’s life. And no, the VA would not make retroactive payments.

When my father died,  my mother continued to receive a sum about 20% less than this for the two years she lived independently before being placed in a facility.  When I was made her guardian I contacted the VA to see if the amount could be increased, and it was, to the amount of about $1800,  with the stipulation I file  financial reports to them every three years.  This money goes into a guardianship account each month and then directly to the nursing home. What I was not told by the VA is we could get her medications for free from MEDS BY MAIL, the VA’s medication system.  Until I figured this out about six years down the road I used a Medicare system, Part D I believe, and every year we would get into the “donut hole” of expenditures and have to pay around $3000 out of pocket for medications.  Since getting into the MEDS BY MAIL program we only pay for over the counter drugs such as aspirin.

My son is now a veteran, and he has received much information from the Air Force regarding his veteran’s rights, but apparently this was not done, or my father did not pay attention after WWII.   The moral of the story is do not leave any stone unturned in searching for benefits if you or your family member is a veteran.

Leave a Reply