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Will Medicare or the VA Pay for My Mother-in-Law’s Home Health Care?


My mother-in-law is 85 and suffered a stroke for which she now receives medication. The stroke left her occasionally incontinent, with some confusion and weakness. We are looking for an in-home care person and wondered whether Medicare would compensate some or all of the cost. Also, her husband was a veteran who served at the end of World War II. Are there military benefits available to her? The in-home care has been medically recommended.



Medicare does pay for some in-home health benefits. To qualify, your mother-in-law must be confined to her home (meaning that leaving it to receive services would be a “considerable and taxing effort”), her doctor has ordered home health services for her, and at least some elements of the services she receive are “skilled” (intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy or speech therapy). She can receive up to 35 hours a week of services. Unfortunately, receiving these benefits can sometimes be difficult, and you may need to advocate on her behalf. For more information about Medicare’s home health benefit, click here.

Your mother-in-law may also be entitled to benefits from the Veteran’s Administration. If she has fewer than $80,000 in assets, she may qualify for Aid & Attendance benefits from the VA. For more information on this, click here.