Southeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging
What is the Veterans Independence Program (VIP)?
The Veterans Independence Program (VIP) is a new way of providing you with the assistance you need to remain at home.
VIP is a more flexible option than traditional in-home services. You can get the help you want when you want it. While working with a trained options counselor, you will determine what kind of help you need in order to maintain your independence. You will determine how much help you need, how often you need it and who will provide that assistance for you.
You and your options counselor will create a plan to provide you with the assistance and services you need. Using an approved amount of VA funds, you will be able to hire and manage your own help. This can include:
- Hiring a family member or friend to help you with personal care and/or assistance around the house
- Contracting a neighbor or professional to provide lawn care or snow removal
- Utilizing some of the funds to make your home more accessible
- Utilizing meal delivery services
The goal of the VIP program is to be flexible and give you the control you want and provide the assistance you need.
The VA Medical Center determines eligibility for VIP. In general, you must need in-home help to avoid moving into a nursing home.
What happens if the VA Medical Center refers me to this program?
An options counselor from a local agency will contact you to enroll you in the VIP program. Your options counselor is here to:
- Answer all your questions about the VIP program
- Assist you in creating and maintaining a plan and budget that helps you stay at home
- Help you determine if VIP is meeting your needs
What kind of responsibilities comes with hiring my own help?
- You will have the options of hiring a personal assistant or other help using the approved budget.
- You will have the responsibility of identifying, interviewing and determining how much of the budget you will spend for your help. The options counselor will guide you through this process. For your security, the VIP program will perform background checks on all workers you wish to hire.
- You will have the responsibility of hiring, training and supervising your workers and signing their time sheets. You will be responsible for staying within the budget and ensuring that timesheets, invoices, and receipts are sent in on time.
- Be enrolled with the VA Medical Center
- Have a VA primary care provider
- Meet the eligibility criteria set by the VA
- Need nursing home level services
- Have the VA send SEIAoA a referral and authorization
What is the Fiscal Management Service and why do I have to work with them?
Aris Solutions is the Fiscal Management Service for the VIP program. They will help you complete all the paperwork necessary to make you a legal employer. They will handle issues such as background checks, workman’s compensation, and taxes. They will issue the payments for the workers and goods and services contained in your approved budget.
**As of May 1, 2018, Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center is the only VA healthcare facility making referrals in the region.
For Information about Eligibility and Enrollment
Desiree Cox (224) 610-3665
For General Program Information
Joy Sobczak (630) 293-5990