Connecticut Veteran’s Directed Care Program (VDC)
What is the VDC Program?
The VDC Program is a consumer directed home and community-based services program designed to keep veterans in their communities. Veterans served through this program have the opportunity to self-direct their own care and receive services in their home from the caregiver of their choice. The VDC program is considered an innovative VA service option that has the potential to be integrated into the permanent menu of federal VA service offerings nationwide.
Who is operating the program in CT?
VDC is a partnership between ADS State Unit on Aging, the VA CT Healthcare System and the five CT Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). All clients served through the VDC program must first be referred by and then pre-screened by the VAMC (Veteran’s Medical Center). If appropriate, the VAMC will refer the Veteran to the appropriate Area Agency on Aging for further assessment and service coordination.
The five AAAs work with a fiscal management service to coordinate payroll for personal care attendants (PCAs) hired by Veterans, assist with management of individualized budgets and assist Veterans with employer related paperwork such as tax forms.
Where is the VDC Program Available?
Currently the VDC program is available statewide.
Who Qualifies for the VDC Program?
Veterans of any age who:
- Reside in Connecticut;
- Need home and community based services to remain at home and out of an institution;
- Wish to self-direct their home and community based services;
- Are willing and able to serve as an employer and hire, fire and manage their own personal care assistant (or have a representative able to fulfill these tasks);
- Are determined good candidates for this program based on assessments conducted by the VA and the Area Agencies on Aging.
Preference is given to Veterans who have a service-connected disability.
What Services will the VDC Provide?
VDC provides veterans the opportunity to self-direct their own care. Through this program, veterans employ their own Personal Care Assistants, who can be family members. A fiscal intermediary helps to manage their individualized care plans and corresponding budgets.
Veterans utilize PCAs of their choosing and/or go through a licensed agency to receive services that include but are not limited to the following:
- Personal Care (e.g. physical or verbal assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, grooming, transferring)
- Community Inclusion
- Homemaker (e.g. cleaning, laundry, meal planning & preparation, shopping)
- Adult Day Care
- Assistive Technology (e.g. emergency response system, electronic pill minder)
- Home-Delivered Meals
- Caregiver Support (e.g. counseling, training)
- Respite Care
- Environmental Support (e.g. yard care, snow removal, extensive cleaning)
- Other goods and services needed to remain safely in the community (e.g. small appliances, grab bars, ramp, lift chair, etc. & some non-traditional services such as life skills training, supervision at a job site etc).
Veterans in the VDC program will also receive:
- An Assessment
- Options Counseling/Support Services (including care management)
- Fiscal Management Services
How Does One Get More Information or be Referred to the VDC Program?
Veterans already connected with the VA health care system can talk to their VA health care provider or VA Case Manager.
If you are not connected, your first step is to register with the Veterans CT Healthcare System. To register you can contact: 203-932-5711 X 3131. You will need a copy of your discharge paperwork, DD-214, to register.
How Can I Get Assistance Obtaining my DD-214 or learn about other Veteran Benefits?
You can request your DD-214 online at: https://www.va.gov/records/get-military-service-records/.
How Do I Know What Veteran Benefits I May be Eligible For?
Each town or city in Connecticut has either a Municipal Service Representative or Veterans’ Advocate that has received training to help Veterans within their city or town. You can contact your city or town to be connected to your representative or you can contact the State of Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Advocacy and Assistance at 860-616-3683. Their website is Office of Advocacy and Assistance. Veterans are encouraged to download a free application named “VACT” to access information through their cellular telephone.
Veterans’ may be eligible for State benefits, Federal financial benefits and or Federal health benefits. Service Advisor groups provide free assistance to Veterans seeking financial benefits from the Federal disability pensions or Aid and Attendance benefits. Veterans can manage their Federal VA benefits and healthcare online at va.gov.
The Area Agency on Aging serving your town may also provide additional information about the VDC program (1-800-994-9422).
For additional information and/or questions please contact Jennifer Switalski -VDC Program Liaison, Jennifer.Switalski@ct.gov (860-424-5023).