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Paying for Community Services

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Elderly woman is with her elderly husband who is in a wheelchairYour loved one may need community services after a stroke. Examples are home health, household chores or meals on wheels. It is common to need help paying for services.

What Do You Need to Know?

Some community services are free or have reduced rates. The government may pay for services. Getting financial help may relieve your stress.

What Kinds of Financial Help Are Available?

Requirements for getting financial help vary for different programs. Some are based on age, disability or income. Most Veterans’ programs are based on service-related disabilities. You can find contact information for these programs in the Resources section.

  • The Area Agency on Aging (AAA) has information on local, state and federal programs. To find your local AAA, use the online Eldercare Locator.
  • Some Veterans Hospitals have home health care services programs. Veterans usually qualify for these services if the disability is service-related. If not service-related, other benefits may be available for Veterans with low incomes. Some states have special programs for Veterans. Contact your VA social worker.
  • Other agencies may help you pay for services. For example, the United Way, your local Council on Aging or Catholic Charities may help. Most phone books have sections listing community agencies. Look in the front for the “Guide to Human Services” or a similar title.

Which Insurance Programs Help Pay for Community Services?A one hundred dollar bill rolled in a prescription medicine bottle

  • Medicare may pay for nursing care or therapy at home. You will need a prescription from a healthcare provider. Medicare may pay for non-medical services for patients getting home care. These services could include making meals and household chores.
  • Medicaid helps low-income people who have few assets. It may pay for services, such as personal or home healthcare. Personal care is help with tasks, such as bathing and dressing. Programs vary by state.
  • Other kinds of insurance may pay for community services. For example, some long-term care and private insurance may pay for services. Check with your insurance company.

You can find the contact information for these programs in the Resources section.

Helpful Tips

Plan ahead − Seek financial help before you need it. First talk to your loved one about his or her financial needs. Ask questions about retirement, savings, insurance and social security. Learn more about managing your loved one's finances.

Shop around − Interview several agencies before choosing one to provide services. Check out references.

Ask for help − Ask for help from family, friends, community groups or churches.


  • Social workers at the VA can help find VA and community programs.
  • The Area Agency on Aging has information.
  • Some insurance plans, such as Medicare and Medicaid, may pay for services.

More Resources Collage of photos for the internet

Additional credible resources on this topic can be found here. Website pages may change or update, therefore if a link does not work, you may also try to type the information into your internet search bar. This Resource List will be updated frequently.

*Link Disclaimer: Links to information and Web sites outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs do not indicate an endorsement of products or services offered by the sites. In addition, these sites may have privacy and security policies that are inconsistent with those of VA.

Download a free version of Adobe Reader* to view PDF files.

References: AARP Foundation. (2009). Benefits Quicklink: Online Tool for Benefits. Retrieved February 12, 2009, from:*; Caring.Com. (2009). Veterans Benefits: Financial Help for Veterans and Their Survivors. Retrieved February 12, 2009, from:*; Caring.Com. (2009). Paying for Home Care. Retrieved February 12, 2009, from:*; Caring.Com (2009). What Kind of At-Home Care Does Medicare Cover? Retrieved February 13, 2009, from:*; Caring.Com (2009). Public Pay Options: Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from*; Houts, P.S. (Ed.). (2004). ElderCare at Home. (2nd Ed.). New York, NY: The AGS Foundation for Health in Aging.

These materials were created for the project:

Web-Based Informational Materials for Caregivers of Veterans Post-Stroke

Project Number SDP 06-327 funded by VA HSR&D Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI)