Will A Veteran Approved For VA Pension Also Receive Free Or Discounted Prescriptions?

Following is an exchange posted on a electronic bulletin board devoted to the discussion of issues involving veterans pension and compensation claims.

Question: Have you heard that once a veteran is approved for VA Pension benefits with Aid and Attendance supplement, he/she also gets free or discounted prescriptions?  If this is true, how do I apply for this additional benefit?

Answer: YES YES YES!!!!  I am so glad you asked, because these added benefits for veteran many times get overlooked.  Here is how it works.

After the veteran has been awarded Pension benefits with either Housebound or Aid and Attendance supplement, he/she applies through the closest VA hospital for health benefits by submitting Form 10-10EZ.  If he does not want to see a VA doctor, the veteran has his private doctor complete and sign the Fee Basis Card.  He attaches original prescriptions written by his doctor to this cover Fee Basis Card.  He will need prescriptions for all medications, incontinence supplies (sizes, styles), oxygen, diabetic testing supplies, medical equipment, glasses, hearing aids and batteries.  He cannot get dental.

He does not have to give any financial information (unless he wants to be on the VA nursing home placement list).

I have NEVER done a veterans pension claim without insisting that the vet apply for health benefits, even if the vet thought he did not want them at that time.

On drugs, someone needs to check with the ALF to make sure that its pharmacy will re-package the drugs and what that cost will be.  The address of the pharmacy will need to be given to the VA also.  The drugs are shipped in 90 day quantities (mostly generics).  NEVE EVER EVER get within three weeks of running out before renewing with Form 10-10EZR.  It can take that long to fill and ship the drugs.

Keep in mind that the vet cannot “double dip”; in other words, if he requires the private pay cost of the drugs and medical supplies to offset income to get the pension, he cannot get both these items free and the pension money.  This works best when the cost of home care, nursing home, or ALF is enough to offset income by itself.

Question: Does this prescription benefit also cover the spouse?

Answer: No, just the veteran.

Question: If the veteran is deceased, will a surviving spouse who is receiving VA Pension benefits also receive the prescription drug benefits?

Answer: No.  However, if a living veteran is rated 100% service-connected disabled, or the surviving spouse is receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits, the spouse of the living veteran or the widow is eligible for the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) health benefits, which would pay for prescriptions.