James

Roger is an 85-year-old veteran who served in the Korean Conflict. Bed-ridden with multiple respiratory and ambulatory issues, he needs assistance with daily
activities such as cooking, cleaning, and management of his appointments with his doctors. Despite the fact that he had made a very good living for many years, Roger’s medical conditions had depleted all of his savings, while the medical bills continued to pile up. His monthly income of $650 was far below his monthly rent, and he faced imminent eviction.

Roger’s neighbor Joe was his power of attorney and he grew alarmed about Roger’s plight. Joe reached out to NYLAG’s Veterans’ Legal Assistance Project. Within
24 hours, the attorney met with Roger at his bedside to assess his needs and develop a plan of action. The attorney reviewed whether he was eligible for VA benefits, whether his health insurance met his needs, whether he had any outstanding debts, and whether he had safe and habitable living conditions. The attorney determined that Roger was in fact eligible for VA disability benefits. This included a special, rarely utilized benefit specifically designed for bed-ridden veterans, individuals classified as “catastrophically disabled”, a VA standard that Roger clearly met. The attorney made sure that Roger was approved on this basis for an improved pension and a total monthly income of $1,788 — nearly triple his previous income. In addition, Roger is now eligible for co-payments on all VA services, which includes extensive home and community-based long-term care.