If the VA wants to stop veterans suicide, then why does the Aid and Attendance benefit offer an incentive for a Veterans to kill themselves? Let me try to explain without oversimplifying: I am a 100% service connected, disabled Vietnam veteran. I have been treated and medicated for Major Depressive Disorder, PTSD
and suicidal tendencies for the past 50 years. My wife has been my lifeline and has worked tirelessly to keep me grounded. Unfortunately, my wife was diagnosed with Alzheimers 2 years ago and it has been in a downward spiral since that time. She no longer even knows who I am (after 50 years of marriage) and is constantly putting herself in danger. I have given up everything else in my life to provide her with care and protection. But I think I am at the point where I am in way over my head. She needs either a full-time professional caregiver or assisted living. CHAMPVA doesn’t provide for these services. VA Aid and Attendance will ONLY provide the needed benefits to me or to my "SURVIVING" spouse. Which raises these questions:
1. Why won’t the VA allow me to transfer or relinquish my coverage to my wife? I don’t need it.
2. More importantly, seeing as I could care less about continuing my life without my wife, why shouldn’t I just take myself out of the picture and give the VA the SURVIVING SPOUSE they require? Why do I have to be dead in order for her to get the benefits? This sure sounds like an incentive for suicide to me! This just seems so stupid to me but I have no idea where to go or who has the power to get this changed. Even if it’s too late for my family, what about the thousands of vets who also face this dilemma or will in the years to come?
FAST FACTS FROM THE ALZHEIMERS ASSOCIATION • ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE IS THE 6TH LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN THE UNITED STATES. • MORE THAN 16 MILLION AMERICANS PROVIDE UNPAID CARE FOR PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER'S OR OTHER DEMENTIAS. • THESE CAREGIVERS PROVIDED AN ESTIMATED 18.5 BILLION HOURS OF CARE VALUED AT NEARLY $234 BILLION. • BETWEEN 2000 AND 2017 DEATHS FROM HEART DISEASE HAVE DECREASED 9% WHILE DEATHS FROM ALZHEIMER'S HAVE INCREASED 145%. • 1 IN 3 SENIORS DIES WITH ALZHEIMER'S OR ANOTHER DEMENTIA. IT KILLS MORE THAN BREAST CANCER AND PROSTATE CANCER COMBINED. • ONLY 16% OF SENIORS RECEIVE REGULAR COGNITIVE ASSESSMENTS DURING ROUTINE HEALTH CHECK-UPS. • IN 2019, ALZHEIMER'S AND OTHER DEMENTIAS WILL COST THE NATION $290 BILLION. BY 2050, THESE COSTS COULD RISE AS HIGH AS $1.1 TRILLION. • 5.8 MILLION AMERICANS ARE LIVING WITH ALZHEIMER'S. BY 2050, THIS NUMBER IS PROJECTED TO RISE TO NEARLY 14 MILLION. • Every 65 SECONDS SOMEONE IN THE UNITED STATES DEVELOPS THE DISEASE.
I understand your frustrations with how the system works...or doesn't work. Your question, the focus of your message is: "Why won’t the VA allow me to...?" The only answer there can be for that is that VA follows the laws that are made by our government and they can't simply change them because it would appear to be an obvious move to make. If you want federal rules and regulations changed you have to begin at the Congress where laws are manufactured. Contacting your elected representatives and getting intelligently involved is how change occurs in our society. Go for it!