Monday, April 18, 2011

Veterans Directed HCBS - Cash and Counseling for Veterans

Veterans now have a participant-directed care program similar to Medicaid’s Cash and Counseling Program. The Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services program (VD-HCBS) allows veterans at risk for nursing home placement to receive care in their home instead of a skilled nursing facility. As an alternative to receiving health care services from the Veterans Administration, veterans are provided with access to a budget and empowered to select and manage their own care providers and supplies.

Similar to the Cash and Counseling program, the VD-HCBS program allows veterans to hire their own family members to provide personal care (with the exception of spouses and legal guardians). However, unlike Cash and Counseling, participants are not directly provided with cash to pay their care providers. In the Veterans Directed HCBS program, participants approve payments to their care and service providers and authorize the state to make those payments on their behalf.

The range of care services, health maintenance services and supplies that are covered by the VD-HCBS program is quite broad. In addition to care services, chore and maintenance services, home modifications, health club memberships, shopping escorts services can all be included. Also the purchase of almost any product that helps the veteran increase their level of independence is allowed. This could include home appliances that enable a disabled veteran to perform household chores they otherwise might not be able to do.

The program is not available nationwide yet, however more and more states are adding programs each year. It is expected that 33 states will have programs by the end of 2011. Learn more about the VD-HCBS, Cash and Counseling for Veterans Program.