Unique veterans program coming to Hampton Roads in December

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – At American Legion Post 175 in Mechanicsville, Virginia Thursday an announcement was made that would affect veterans living in Hampton Roads.

This announcement was the expansion of the Veterans-Directed Home and Community Based Services (VD-HCBS) program to Hampton VAMC, which means that veterans in Hampton Roads could see more control on how they get and are administered services.

Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. William Hazel, among other government and veteran aid officials, announced also that the expansion to the program will start at the Hampton VAMC beginning in December, according to a press release from the Administration for Community Living.

The VD-HCBS is designed to let veterans have more control of their own care by using a flexible budget to hire family, friends and neighbors to deliver the care and services they and their families decide they need.

The program will be implemented via a trained counselor from the Administration for Community Living (ACL). These counselors will work one-on-one to help veterans decide on certain paths they can take to receive services and support, for planning and managing their needs.

62 VA Medical Centers in 34 states offer VD-HCBS services, which 6,700 veterans have used since its inception.

The Administration for Community Living, which was started to help provide services to those who have trouble living independently, say that almost 20 percent of people ages 65 and older are veterans, and nearly 30 percent of veterans of all ages live with disabilities, many of which are service-connected.

With currently 2,900 veterans enrolled in the program, officials hope that this program will help veterans avoid nursing homes, and be apart of their community.

Even though officials said that the VD-HCBS services will start beginning in December, a timeline on how they will implement these services to veterans in the area was not provided.

The Richmond-area VD-HCBS program is operated by Bay Aging and the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center.