Education is the movement from darkness to light, according to philosopher Allan Bloom. It is designed to become more aware and to grow in knowledge.
Awareness and education were the main purposes for the presentation held at Rittenhouse Village at Portage on May 16 during their free Veterans Affairs benefits seminar. This particular benefit, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Aid and Attendance Pension, is widely unknown, which is why Veterans Financial, Inc. agent Mike Leiter presented the free educational workshop about it.
“We’re here to educate people and give them information,” Leiter said. “There are a lot of people who, unfortunately, don’t know that this benefit exists. The whole point of this tonight is to let people know that it does and to let them contact us if they want additional information.”
Leiter has always been involved in financial and retirement planning, but it was not until 2005, a couple of years after the benefit expanded from only nursing home care to other forms of long-term care, that he joined Veterans Financial, Inc. He began giving presentations about the benefit in 2006.
Veterans Financial, Inc. is not affiliated with VA or any government agency, but the company helps veterans find out if they are entitled to certain benefits or not, and then walks them through the application process. This assistance is free of charge, and the company has helped over 127,000 families since 2003.
This workshop was open to the public, so veterans and family members alike sat in attendance to learn more about the benefit. One of those was Sharon Ingram, whose father is a veteran and now resides in Rittenhouse Village.
“It’s important to know what’s out there and available for the veterans, because we didn’t know. We would’ve started working on this stuff a year ago if we would have known,” she said.
Through a PowerPoint, Leiter explored the different eligibility criteria of Aid and Attendance Pension, case studies of some who became eligible through VFI, and the next steps that those who are interested should take in order to receive the support they need. If eligible, veterans and surviving spouses may receive a monthly tax-free benefit, ranging from $1,153 to $2,127, to put toward the cost of their senior care.
“We try to host one of these every year, if not twice a year,” said Judy Kukelka, Marketing Director of Rittenhouse Village at Portage. “There are a lot of veterans and surviving spouses out there who are not aware of this benefit, and with the rising cost of healthcare and senior living, it’s just nice to get that information in front of as many veterans and family members as possible.”
Awareness is the key to just about any piece of knowledge. Once people become more aware and more educated about something, such as this benefit, they are then able to ask questions and find the answers that they need.
For more information about this benefit and to find out if you or a loved one qualifies, please visit www.VeteransFinancial.com or call 800-835-1541.
For more information on Rittenhouse Villages at Portage, click here.