Page 11 - Scene Magazine 41-10 October 2016
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• Inability to attend to the wants of nature; or
• Incapacity, physical or mental, which requires care or assistance on a regu- lar basis to protect the claimant from hazards or dangers incident to his or her daily environment.
Not all of the disabling conditions in the list above are required to exist before a favorable rating may be made. The personal functions, which the Veter- an is unable to perform are considered in connection with his or her condition as a whole. It is only necessary that the evidence establish that the Veteran is so helpless as to need “regular” (scheduled and ongoing) aid and attendance from someone else, not that there be a 24-hour need.
“Bedridden” is a definition that al- lows a rating for aid and attendance by itself. “Bedridden” is a condition which requires that the claimant remain in bed. A person who has voluntarily taken to bed or who has been told by the doctor to remain in bed will not necessarily re-
ceive the favorable rating for aid and at- tendance. There must be an actual need for personal assistance from others.
Housebound means “permanently housebound by reason of disability or disabilities.” This requirement is met when the Veteran or his or her widow is substantially confined to his or her dwelling and the immediate premises or, if institutionalized, to the ward or clini- cal area, and it is reasonably certain that the disability or disabilities and resultant confinement will continue throughout his or her lifetime.
A person who cannot leave his imme- diate premises unless under the super- vision of another person is considered housebound. This might include the in- ability to drive because of the disability.
A housebound rating does not mean a person needs to be confined to a per- sonal residence. It can apply to any place where the person is living whether in a facility or in the home of someone else.
In order to receive one of these rat- ings the claimant must schedule an exam with his or her physician and have the
physician complete VA Form 21-2680. This Examination for Housebound Sta- tus or Permanent need for Regular Aid and Attendance is then included with the initial application. This document is sim- ilar to a form used internally by VA to obtain information from Veterans med- ical facilities for determining a rating. It is in a format that a Veterans service representative would recognize.
Medical evidence for a rating for “aid and attendance” or “housebound” for living arrangements other than a nursing home should be submitted with the ap- plication to avoid a delay in the approval process. Waiting for the regional office to order medical records is a time-con- suming process, mainly because doctor’s offices don’t respond as quickly as you might like to these kinds of requests.
An elder law attorney can assist with understanding this benefit and helping you to receive a benefit that the Veteran has earned for their service. For more details please visit the Senior Veteran Service Alliance at http://www.veteran- saidbenefit.org.
  
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