Little-known Benefits Program Helps Homeless Veteran Thrive

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Louis Patscheck was living out of his car before learning about a seldom-used benefits program available to veterans and surviving spouses.

In accepting Bill’s offer to come for lunch, I put my past behind me and every day the sun rises, I have the first day of the rest of my life.” – Louis Patscheck.

Thousands of veterans, and surviving spouses of veterans, are unaware that they may be eligible to receive a substantial monthly benefit – as much as $1,949 tax free – through the little-known Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Aid and Attendance program.

Holiday Retirement has launched a national educational effort with free seminars at many of its more than 280 U.S. communities. To meet eligibility, veterans must have served at least 90 consecutive days with one day during a declared war and satisfy certain financial and health requirements, as determined by the VA on a case-by-case basis.

Holiday Retirement’s national push has helped many veterans, such as Louis Patscheck, and surviving spouses start receiving the support they are entitled.

Patscheck had reached the bottom of his luck when an officer discovered him living out of his vehicle behind a Glendale, Ariz. Safeway in April. Following the death of his wife, Patscheck foreclosed on his home and had nowhere to turn.

But today, the 79-year-old Patscheck is a thriving resident of Vista del Rio, a Holiday Retirement community in Peoria, Ariz.

Patscheck’s road to recovery began when that officer took him to the Salvation Army for a warm meal and a place to sleep. Patscheck, who served as a Navy field medic during the Korean Conflict, was soon put in contact with Vista del Rio manager Bill Bain.

Bain invited Patscheck to visit the community for lunch and to learn more about the Aid and Attendance program. That same day, Patscheck was pre-qualified for the benefits and in early July he received notice from the VA that his application was approved for the full amount available.

The benefits enabled Patscheck to begin living at Vista del Rio, where he currently enjoys a private apartment, three chef-prepared meals daily, housekeeping and transportation services, live-in managers, daily activities, and more.

“In accepting Bill’s offer to come for lunch, I put my past behind me and every day the sun rises, I have the first day of the rest of my life,” Patscheck said. “Vista del Rio is my home now, but occasionally I’ll look out the window at my previous home parked outside. I’m thankful for all the people who made this possible.”

Bain, the manager who helped welcome Patscheck to Vista del Rio, says, “Louis recently came by my office to pick up some things and said he felt like he was in a dream. He was crying when he left to go back to his apartment. He didn’t see that I was also in tears.”

To learn more about Patscheck, please contact Vista del Rio at 623-977-7007. Veterans interested in learning about the Aid and Attendance program can visit or contact any U.S. Holiday Retirement community to inquire about upcoming educational seminars.

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Luke Andrews
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