Monday, October 11, 2010

Home Assistance for Vets

Veterans of all ages with disabilities will gain additional support in 28 states under a new program designed to help them live independently with more choice and control over the services they receive in their homes.

Currently, 21 VA Medical Centers in 14 states have a fully operational Veteran Directed Home and Community-Based Service (VD-HCBS) Program. This program enables veterans to live independently and manage their flexible spending budgets, decide for themselves what mix of goods and services can best meet their needs, hire and supervise their own workers, and purchase items or service to help them live more independently. This approach is called “Participant Direction.”

Through a contract with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services (NRCPDS) at Boston College in a new effort is going to provide training and assistance to VA Medical Centers to help them implement participant-directed services for veterans.

“We are proud to help America’s veterans maintain their independence and preserve their quality of life,” said Kevin J. Mahoney, PHD, Director of the NRCPDS at BC and Professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at Boston College.

“This new partnership will help VHA expand the VD-HCBS Program and enable VA Medical Centers to be better equipped to provide participant-directed services to veterans”, said James F. Burris, M.D., Chief Consultant for the Office for Geriatrics and Extended Care at the VHA.

Currently, 21 VA Medical Centers in 14 states have a fully operational VD-HCBS Programs with more than 450 veterans enrolled including young and severely injured veterans. The states with active VD-HCBS programs include Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Virginia. The VHA anticipates expanding the VD-HCBS Program to an additional 14 states by 2011.

For more information, email Elizabeth Maguire at