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Hospice Care for Veterans

Hospice Care for Veterans

One of every four dying Americans has served in the military. It is our privilege to provide care with dignity near the end of life for South Jersey veterans through our hospice care program.

Samaritan is committed to honoring our community’s veterans and their families by providing veteran-specific hospice care that recognizes their distinctive needs. These needs may be influenced by:
•    Combat or non-combat experience
•    Which war or conflict they served in
•    POW experiences
•    Service-connected injuries or illness
•    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
•    Branch of service and rank
•    Enlisted vs drafted
•    Feelings about service and service mission

Quick Links:  Community Partnerships | Highlights of Veteran Hospice Care | Are You Eligible? | Accessing Care through VA | Accessing Care through Non-VA Benefit | Helpful Links | VA Medical Centers

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These life experiences may greatly affect a veteran’s physical, psychological, and spiritual comfort at the end of life. For this reason, as you or your loved one enters our care, our trained professionals will include information about your military history into the medical history. This allows our hospice care plan to reflect the individual needs and wishes of veterans as we work toward the most peaceful transition for both patient and family caregivers.

veterans hospice blanket programOur Hospice Program Wraps Veterans in Honor and Love

Samaritan serves more than 500 veterans through our hospice care program each year. Our goal is to provide each veteran patient in our care with a special blanket. Uniquely designed to recognize their service, this blanket will be a warm expression of our gratitude for their selfless sacrifice for the common good. Learn more >>

Community Partnerships

We Honor Veterans


  • Respectful inquiry
  • Compassionate listening
  • Grateful acknowledgement of veterans

Samaritan proudly participates in We Honor Veterans (WHV). This pioneering program was created by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Its purpose is to empower hospice and other healthcare providers across America to meet the unique needs of seriously ill veterans and their families.

Within the WHV program, there are four levels – or stars – of distinction that veteran’s hospices can earn.  The goal of these star levels is to establish a common core of “best practices” to ensure that those who have served our country receive the most effective care.  Samaritan’s hospice care for veterans, and community education/outreach, has earned WHV’s highest four-star level – one of only seven hospices in New Jersey to do so. This distinction has earned us the ability to display the four-star logo below.

Hospice Veteran Partnership (HVP) of New Jersey

Samaritan also actively participates in the Hospice Veterans Partnership (HVP) of New Jersey, an affiliate of the Homecare & Hospice Association of New Jersey. HVP’s mission is to establish a network of hospice and VA professionals, veterans, volunteers, and other interested organizations joining forces to provide quality services through the end of life for New Jersey’s veterans and their families.

Highlights of Samaritan’s Hospice Care Services for Veterans

Social worker is visiting a senior woman at homeRespectful Inquiry

  • Assessment that explores the veteran’s military history

Physical, Emotional, Spiritual Support

  • Providing a team of hospice professionals  to deliver expert care where you or your loved one lives or in an inpatient hospice center.
  • Referrals for community services as needed (e.g. Meals on Wheels, medical transportation, etc.)
  • Bereavement support for hospice patients/families including individual and family counseling, support groups, and memorial services
  • Additional Home Health Aide services for Mercer County veteran through a generous grant from the Disabled American Veteran Joseph A.McNerney #41 Chapter, Hamilton

Compassionate Listening

  • Story sharing
  • Focused staff and volunteer presence to hear veteran’s thoughts, fears, and concerns
  • Preserving military experiences for family legacy, Library of Congress archives, etc.

Veteran with blanketCoordination of Care

  • Helping veterans and family access VA benefits and healthcare services such as

» Hospice and palliative care
» Funeral/burial benefits
» Spousal/survivor benefits

Clockwise from bottom left: Korean War Veteran Phillip Marcantonio, Vietnam War Veteran Harvey Gsell, WW II Veterans Carl & Ethel Zickfoose

  • Coordinating hospice and palliative care with existing veteran services provided by the VA medical centers and community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs)
  • Coordinating coverage of hospice care by VA, Tricare, Medicare, Medicaid, and most commercial insurers

Grateful Acknowledgement

  • Honoring military service through cards, certificates, pinnings, and presentations of patriotic blankets –made possible through the generosity of community support
  • Helping veterans make application to retrieve lost medals
  • Observance of holidays such as Memorial Day and Veteran Day with veteran patients and family members
  • Sharing patriotic gifts and remembrances created by volunteers

Community Awareness, Education & Outreach

  • Outreach and education programs to local VA facilities,  area veteran organizations, and other community groups
  • Participation in community observances of Memorial Day and Veteran Day
  • Recruitment of veterans who share a common bond of military service to volunteer as veteran patient visitors

Staff and Volunteer Training

  • Educating staff and volunteers to provide the most evidence-based, sensitive care and support of veteran and their families 


For more information about Samaritan’s hospice care services for veterans, call (800) 229-8183.


Learn more about Samaritan’s Veterans Hospice program by watching the video below:

Respectful Inquiry, Compassionate Listening, Grateful Acknowledgment

Are You Eligible for Veteran’s Hospice Care?

Navy veteran surrounded by hospice teamHospice care is a benefit for veterans who are in the final phase of their lives — typically six months or less in a doctor’s best judgment if the illness follows its normal course. This team approach to end-of-life care helps veterans live each day as fully and comfortably as possible, and provides support for the family or friends caring for the veteran. Click here for more hospice eligibility information >>

Accessing Hospice Care through VA

Hospice and palliative care are part of the Veterans Health Administration’s Standard Medical Benefits Package for all veterans who have enrolled with the VA and who meet the clinical criteria for hospice care. Currently, only one of every three veterans has enrolled in the VA to receive benefits.

The VA will provide for or purchase needed hospice and palliative care services from a community provider such as Samaritan for all enrolled Veterans, whether those services are needed in an inpatient setting or in the home. Contrary to common belief, the majority of veterans (96%) receive direct care at the end of life from community healthcare providers, such as Samaritan, rather than from the Department of Veterans Affairs (4%). There are no copays for veteran hospice care whether it is directly provided by VA or an organization with a VA contract.

You may qualify for VA health care benefits and services:

  • If you served in the active military service and were separated under any condition other than dishonorable.
  • If you are a current or former member of the Reserves or National Guard who was called to active duty by a federal order (other than for training only), and completed the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty.

For more details, visit >>

NOTEWe encourage you to apply for VA health benefits before you are coping with a healthcare crisis.This will provide you and your family with broader choices and the opportunity to access services you have earned through your service.  To apply for VA health care benefits, contact your County Veterans Service Officer or apply online at

Accessing Hospice Care through Non-VA Benefits

Vietnam veteran with social workerAs a veteran, you may choose to access hospice care through VA benefits (if you have enrolled and qualify), or through alternative insurers such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, or commercial insurers.  If you are a VA-enrolled veteran who chooses to access hospice care through Medicare or another insurer, you can still get other VA health care and benefits to which you are entitled at the same time.

In 2016, Samaritan was proud to provide hospice care for 439 veterans and their families.  The cost of some of these veterans’ care was paid through VA; others opted to use their Medicare, Medicaid, or commercial insurer as the primary payor.  With all the available choices, the bottom line is that no veteran or family member should let the issue of coverage prevent you from seeking hospice care when you need it.


Hospice care can be provided wherever the veteran lives, including:

  • Your home or that of a caregiver
  • VA hospital
  • State veterans home
  • VA or community nursing home
  • Senior housing

Keep in mind, however, that receiving hospice care in VA facilities requires prior enrollment for health care services.

Helpful Information for Veterans and their Families:

•    Veteran Benefits Administration (VBA)
•    Veteran Health Administration (VHA)
•    National Cemetery Administration (NCA)
•    Home Care & Hospice Association of New Jersey
•    We Honor Veterans

VA Medical Centers serving southern New Jersey

VA Medical Center Philadelphia
3900 Woodland Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

VA Medical Center Wilmington
1601 Kirkwood Highway
Wilmington, DE 19805