Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services gives Veterans of all ages the opportunity to receive the Home and Community Based Services they need in a consumer-directed way.
Veteran-Directed Care is for Veterans who need skilled services, case management, and assistance with activities of daily living (e.g., bathing and getting dressed) or instrumental activities of daily living (e.g., fixing meals and taking medicines); or are isolated or their caregiver is experiencing burden.
Veterans in this program are given a flexible budget for services that can be managed by the Veteran or the family caregiver. Veteran-Directed Care can be used to help Veterans continue to live at home or in their community.
As part of this program, Veterans and their caregiver have more access, choice, and control over their long term care services. For example, Veterans can:
- Decide what mix of services will best meet their needs
- Hire their own personal care aides (which might include their own family member or neighbor)
- Buy items and services that will help them live independently in the community
Am I Eligible?
Since Veteran-Directed Care is part of the VHA Standard Medical Benefits Package, all enrolled Veterans are eligible IF they meet the clinical need for the service and it is available. NOTE: This is a new VA program and is only available in certain locations.
There is no copay with this program. However, you may still have a copay if you use Home and Community Based Services.
Find out more about Paying for Long Term Care.
What Services are Provided?
If you are enrolled in this program, you can decide what mix of Home and Community Based services will best meet your needs.
How Do I Decide?
You can use a Shared Decision Making Worksheet to help you figure out what long term care services or settings may best meet your needs now or in the future. Find out about how you can use the Shared Decision Making approach.
There's also a Caregiver Self-Assessment. It can help your caregiver identify their own needs and decide how much support they can offer to you. Having this information from your caregiver, along with the involvement of your care team and social worker, will help you reach good long term care decisions.
Your physician or other primary care provider can answer questions about your medical needs. Some important questions to talk about with your social worker and family include:
- How much assistance do I need for my activities of daily living (e.g., bathing and getting dressed)?
- Can I select and coordinate the services I need?
- What are my caregiver's needs?
- Is my caregiver able to assist me with coordinating the services I select?
- How much independence and privacy do I want?
- What sort of social interactions are important to me?
- How much can I afford to pay for care each month?
If Veteran-Directed Care seems right for you, talk with your VA social worker and find out if it is available in your location.
What Do Others Say?
I try to keep up on the new programs VA offers. This one sounded perfect for me because I like to be in charge. I'm happier and my family is happier. I was fortunate it was offered close to where I live.
My daughter has lost so much of her independence and she is so young. This program allows her to live in the community where she grew up, close to her support network, and it gives her a degree of control over her care and her future.
Darla, Veteran's mother and caregiver