It is good knowing that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) of the United States of America provides veterans with extensive medical benefits, which are administered by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Yet, were you aware that this basic medical insurance package includes long-term care services like those provided in the comfort of your own home? Keep reading to find out more about the Homemaker and Home Health Aide program (H/HHA) that the VA offers for its veterans and the caregivers who look after them.

What exactly is the VA’s homemaker and home health aide care program, and how might it help veterans who need home care?

One of the various home and community-based services provided by the VA is the homemaker and home health aide care program, often known as the H/HHA program. The purpose of the program is to provide assistance to veterans so that they may continue to reside in their own homes while maintaining their sense of independence and safety. Companions, help with personal care and activities of daily living, and short-term relief for the veterans’ family caregivers are some of the services that trained homemakers and home health aides provide for veterans who receive care at home. This support is overseen by registered nurses.

The H/HHA program is also able to be integrated with various other community-based and home-based programs provided by the VA; however, availability may be restricted.

Veterans’ home care perks

Care provided by homemakers and home health aides may include assisting veterans with a broad variety of day-to-day activities. This is done with the goal of enabling them to continue living securely and freely in their own homes.

services of home care provided by the VA

Homemakers and home health aides are able to assist patients with the following instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), which may help guarantee their safety and improve their quality of life.

In the patient’s living space, doing the minimal amount of housekeeping that is required to keep the environment clean and risk-free is essential.

The patient’s laundry must be laundered in order to ensure their comfort and hygiene.

The preparation of meals

Shopping for provisions

Accompanying the patient to all of their required visits

Services of a home health aide provided by the VA

Help with the following activities of daily living (ADLs) is something that home health aides are able to give to their patients:

  • Bathing
  • Toileting
  • Eating \sDressing
  • The process of ambushing or transferring
  • Combining active and passive forms of exercise
  • Help with many types of medical devices
  • Regular checks on the patient’s health

The Veterans Affairs (VA) home care program is not only beneficial for the veterans who get it, but it also gives the family members who care for them much-needed breaks and a sense of relief. It is possible to combine these services with others, such as adult day care, in order to reduce the strain placed on families and postpone or entirely avoid the placement of veterans in nursing homes.

It is important to keep in mind that the qualifying standards for skilled home health care services, such as wound care, catheter care, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, are different from those given via the VA’s home health care program.

Who may participate in the veteran’s home care program if they meet the requirements?

A veteran must satisfy all of the following requirements in order to be eligible for help from the VA with home care:

Participate in the VA’s comprehensive health care benefits program.

Be eligible for services provided by the community

You will need a prescription from your doctor in order to obtain home care services.

These three overarching criteria will each get a more in-depth examination in the following sections.

Obtaining eligibility for Veterans Affairs health care benefits

Before receiving health care benefits from the VA, a veteran must first meet the requirements for eligibility. The majority of veterans who are eligible for the standard medical benefits package offered by the VA are those who served honourably in the active military, navy, or air service and did not earn a dishonourable discharge. In most cases, elder veterans have previously filed for and been receiving health care benefits from the VA for a significant amount of time prior to the onset of the need for in-home care.

Veterans who have served their country and think they meet the requirements for VA health care but have not yet enrolled in the program should submit an online application. A veteran may submit an application for health benefits in person at a VA medical facility or clinic, over the phone by calling the toll-free number 877-222-8387, or by sending in an application for health benefits form.

Even if a veteran has previously filed for VA medical benefits and been turned down for coverage, it may still be in their best interest to apply again. It is possible that they are now eligible for coverage due to a change in either their financial situation or their medical condition.

The Department of Veterans Affairs places each applicant into one of five priority groups. These groups are determined by the applicant’s military service record, a disability rating, level of income, and whether or not the applicant is eligible for or is already receiving other benefits such as Medicaid, a VA pension, or VA disability compensation. The priority group that a veteran belongs to influences how quickly they will be enrolled in health care benefits and how much, if any, they will be required to contribute toward the cost of their treatment. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the category with the greatest priority is comprised of veterans who have impairments that are directly related to their service.

To be eligible for services provided by the VA community care program

After that, a veteran who is covered by VA healthcare must also meet the requirements for community care. When the VA is unable to offer the treatment that a veteran requires, community providers may be given permission to perform these services on the veteran’s behalf. In 2018, the Department of Veterans Affairs passed the VA MISSION Act, which set six enhanced qualifying requirements for community care. Just one of these six prerequisites has to be satisfied in order to proceed. “no VA institution delivers the hospital treatment, medical services, or extended care services the veteran needs” is one of the criteria that determines whether or not a veteran is eligible for benefits.

The H/HHA program is one of a kind due to the fact that its extended care services are delivered only by non-VA providers located in the local community, including public and private home care organizations. Every veteran who is in need of homemaker or home health aide services is immediately eligible for community care due to the fact that the VA does not directly supply these services.

Obtaining eligibility for H/HHA services

Last but not least, a veteran must provide evidence that they have a clinical need for H/HHA services. Their VA primary care practitioner or a geriatrics care team will perform a full geriatric exam to measure their degree of reliance on activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living. This evaluation will also determine their overall state of health.

Clinical eligibility requirements are met for a veteran to participate in the VA homemaker and home health aide program if the veteran’s examination reveals any one of the following conditions:

  • Dependencies across at least three different ADLs
  • Substantial cognitive impairment
  • Dependencies in both of the veteran’s ADLs, as well as meeting any two of the following conditions:
  • Has dependencies in at least three different IADLs.
  • Is 75 years of age or more advanced in age?
  • Has been diagnosed with severe depression in the clinical setting.
  • Exists alone inside the neighbourhood.
  • Has been released from a nursing institution very recently, or has an anticipated nursing home discharge plan that is predicated on the provision of home and community-based care services
  • Has shown a high need for medical care, which is defined as having three or more hospitalizations in the previous year, as well as using outpatient clinics or emergency assessment units 12 or more times in the previous year.
  • In a formal care plan, the results of the official assessment will be documented, care objectives will be established, and recommendations will be made on the service(s) required and their length. If a veteran fits all three of the broad requirements listed above, then the main care practitioner at their VA facility will be required to order the necessary home health aide (HHA) services, as well as maybe extra services to augment their treatment. It is important to keep in mind that even if a veteran does not exactly fit all of the requirements listed above, it is still feasible for them to establish a clinical need for in-home care and get an order for services.

As soon as a member of the VA staff verifies that a veteran meets the requirements to participate in the H/HHA program, the veteran is sent to a home care service that is part of the VA’s community care network.

VA home care providers

The Veterans Health Administration makes use of something called the Community Care Network (CCN), which is a nationwide network of certified medical professionals from whom the VA may buy medical services for veterans. The CCN is broken up into five different regional networks, each of which is administered by a third-party administrator (TPA) working on the VA’s behalf.

“VHA referrals for home health care services are made to community agencies that are state-licensed or CMS-certified for the level of care provided and in good standing with state licensing bodies in the states where the agency provides care,” the VHA handbook states. “VHA referrals for home health care services are made to community agencies that are state-licensed or CMS-certified for the level of care provided.” While choosing a home care provider for a patient, the VA gives the patient’s wishes, to the greatest extent practicable, primary consideration.

Certain covered services can only be provided by home care organizations that are members of the CCN. The personnel at the VA is able to help veterans in establishing connections with local providers. It’s even possible that they’ll be able to add the provider you choose to the VA’s network in certain instances. Keep in mind that the services, providers, and availability of community care might vary greatly depending on where you live.

How much does the Veterans Administration pay for in-home care services?

When it comes to qualifying veterans, the VA will pay for the majority of the expense of in-home care. As a result of their disability rating, income level, length of service in the armed forces, and priority group, many veterans are eligible for free medical treatment via the Veterans Administration (VA). Regardless of the veteran’s disability rating or priority group assignment, a veteran will not be required to make a copayment for medical treatment that is linked to a service-connected disability that has been rated by the VA.

It is unique to the VA’s geriatric and extended care services, as well as the H/HHA program because there are no copayments required for the first 21 days of treatment that are delivered during a period of one year. On day 22 of treatment, if a veteran is going to be liable for copays (depending on their service-connected disability status and their income), then those copays will begin. In the year 2023, the daily copay charge for H/HHA treatments that are not related to a specific service will be “up to $15.” According to the most recent Genworth Cost of Care Study, the typical hourly cost of home health aide service is $27. This rate is fairly affordable given the median hourly cost of providing care is $27.

The veteran’s other health insurance coverage, if they have any, may assist offset all or part of the copayments that are required of them. For calculating an estimate of a veteran’s monthly copayment responsibilities, the veteran (or their legal representative) is required to submit VA Form 10-10EC, Application for Extended Care Services.

Last but not least, the Department of Veterans Affairs makes it quite clear that “community providers cannot charge or collect a VA copayment directly from veterans.” Veterans who are liable for copays have a number of straightforward alternatives available to them for making payments, challenging charges, and obtaining financial help with medical costs.

Help in locating the appropriate veterans home care program, as well as the next steps to take

It might be difficult to find the correct home care choice for your loved one via the veterans home care program; however, EmbracingHomeCare can assist you in simplifying your search for the best home care alternative. Our Care Advisers are able to put you in contact with home care providers in your region, which may be of assistance to veterans who do not reside in an area covered by a VA network. Care Advisers will assist you to discover the home care services that are appropriate for your loved one’s requirements as well as their budget if they are veterans who do not qualify for the home care program offered by the VA or who need help that the VA does not supply. Connecting with other family caregivers on the EmbracingHomeCare website may provide you with the support and guidance you need on elder care.


Call now for a free consultation

Are you looking for compassionate and reliable home care services in Orange, Osceola, Brevard, or Seminole counties? Look no further than our professional team at Embracing Home Care! Our highly trained caregivers provide personalized care for seniors and individuals with disabilities, ensuring that they can continue to live independently in the comfort of their own homes. With a variety of services including personal care, transportation, meal preparation, and companionship, we strive to improve the quality of life for our clients and provide peace of mind for their families. Contact us today at 321-758-2036 to learn more about our affordable and flexible home care options and to schedule a consultation with one of our care coordinators. Let us help you or your loved one live life to the fullest!  We serve Central Florida cities like Orlando, Apopka, Ocoee, Winter Garden, Sanford, Altamonte Springs, Casselberry, Palm Bay, Melbourne, Titusville, Kissimmee, St.  Cloud, celebration, Lake Mary, Oviedo, Longwood, Winter Springs, Cocoa Beach and more.

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