If you are like most seniors, then you probably would prefer to stay in your home instead of living in a nursing home or a long-term care facility. Veterans across the United States, and those in San Diego, are eligible for the Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services Program. In today’s post, we are going to take an in-depth look at the Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services Program, or VD-HCBS for short, and explain how it could benefit you.

The Law Offices of Janis A Carney provides a number of elder law services that could help you get the care you need. Call our office or fill out the form at the bottom of this page to request a consultation with a Silicon Valley elder law attorney.

What Is VD-HCBS?

As we briefly mentioned above, VD-HCBS is a program that allows veterans to develop a care plan that caters to their needs and circumstances. It was started in 2009 and is currently being implemented by VA Medical Centers around the country, though it is not available in every state.

Through this program, veterans are able to schedule and set up care in their own homes, in a caregiver’s home, or in an independent living community. Some veterans prefer to receive support from their families instead of caregivers with whom they are not familiar, and in some cases, VD-HCBS will financially compensate family members for providing a veteran with care.

How Does VD-HCBS Work?

In most cases, the veteran will work with family members, an advisor from the state in which they reside, and perhaps an elder law attorney to develop a care plan that includes an estimated expense budget. The plan is then submitted for approval, revised, and then agreed upon by the administering party as well as the veteran.

After the plan has been signed by both parties, the veteran will then hire the necessary care providers and purchase any supplies they need. As we noted in the previous section, family members such as a spouse or relative are often hired to help. It is important to note that family members and caregivers will be taxed normally for any wages they receive.


Any veteran enrolled in the VA health care system who requires care comparable to that of a nursing home is eligible for the program. There are no requirements as far as age is concerned, though proving the need for nursing home-level care can be complex. Typically, a veteran will need to prove that they require assistance with at least three different daily tasks, though this requirement is lessened if they have been diagnosed with a mental illness, live alone, or are over the age of 75.

There were approximately 42 states that had enacted VD-HCBS as of April 2018, and other states and geographic locations have been working to roll the program out.

If you have questions about the information discussed in today’s post, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with a Silicon Valley elder law attorney, then please get in touch with The Law Offices of Janis A Carney.

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