Fight Back Against Mold Illness with Help from Proactive Wellness Centers

CIRS Mold Toxicity Treatment in McNair, VA

Experiencing mold toxicity is a terrifying thought for most people. Although it may seem like an interesting concept for a medical drama, nobody wants to experience the effects of mold exposure firsthand.

Mold is a fungus that thrives in wet environments, such as under tiles, wood floors, and ceilings, pipes, and roofs. While several types of mold exist, some are more hazardous than others, and some individuals may be allergic or sensitive to mycotoxins, the toxins that mold naturally produces. Exposure to excessive amounts of mold, or the types of mold that trigger health problems, can lead to mold toxicity and even CIRS - Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. This acute and chronic systemic inflammatory response syndrome is typically acquired after exposure to mold or other producers of biotoxins, usually from damaged water buildings.

If you believe that you're suffering from mold toxicity or mold illness, it can seem like the world is folding in on you. No matter what you do, your symptoms persist, lowering your quality of life and eliminating your peace of mind. Fortunately, there is reason to be hopeful: Proactive Wellness Centers now offers a research-backed, highly effective mold illness poisoning treatment in McNair, VA for men and women just like yourself and your children as well if they have been impacted.

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CIRS and Mold Toxicity

CIRS and mold illness are on the rise, and accurate diagnosis of the issue plays a major role in this trend. Thanks to Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, there is a huge body of evidence that covers diagnosing and treating patients with CIRS. Dr. Lawson is one of less than 30 practitioners in the United States that are fully certified by Dr. Shoemaker for diagnosing and treating CIRS. The body of evidence by Shoemaker and many associates is the largest body of scientific evidence that is published in major medical journals. Around 80% of CIRS/Mold cases are caused by indoor air contaminated with mold toxins and other triggers. However, it's important to note that CIRS can also be caused by biotoxin producers such as cyanobacteria and a marine dinoflagellate that produces the Ciguatera toxin found in certain types of fish.

When mold or biotoxins are not processed effectively, a series of biochemical changes known as the Biotoxin Pathway occur. Genetic studies have revealed that approximately 24% of individuals have a genetic makeup that makes them susceptible to developing an illness related to mold or biotoxins. The remaining 76% of the population can typically eliminate these toxins from their system and avoid the development of the Biotoxin Pathway that can lead to various diseases.

CIRS Treatment In McNair McNair, VA

CIRS and Mold Poisoning Misdiagnosis

CIRS and mold exposure symptoms overlap with many other chronic illnesses, which makes diagnosis challenging and can even lead to missed diagnosis of CIRS. Based on research from Proactive Wellness Centers, CIRS is frequently misdiagnosed. Some of the most common misdiagnoses include:

  • Lupus
  • Chronic Pain Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • PTSD
  • More

Lyme disease, in particular, is often misdiagnosed. We have treated a number of patients whose symptoms were in line with Lyme disease. Fortunately, we were able to confirm the presence of CIRS and mold and were able to successfully help those patients using CIRS treatment in McNair, VA.

Note that many of these patients have CIRS and Lyme disease and in that case, it is necessary to treat both in order for full recovery. Treating one or the other will invariably leave the patient with debilitating symptoms and even more frustration with their medical team. At Proactive Wellness Centers, we are skilled In diagnosing and treating both.

 VA McNair, VA
 CIRS Mold Toxicity Treatment In McNair McNair, VA

CIRS and Mold Poisoning Symptoms

If you're reading this page, chances are you're concerned that you might have CIRS or some form of mold poisoning. You may be wondering what you have - is it CIRS, or is it something else like Lyme disease? We can't provide the answer to that question without consultation and testing at our wellness center in Virginia. However, there are common symptoms of CIRS and mold toxicity you should know.

Some of the most common symptoms of CIRS include:

  • Fatigue
  • Decreased Word Finding
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Morning Stiffness
  • Tremors
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Tingling
  • Night Sweats
  • Frequent Urination
  • Confusion
  • Mood Swings

Proactive Wellness Centers'

Tools for Diagnosing Mold Sickness and CIRS

Identifying and confirming if a patient is being impacted by CIRS and identifying the cause and source of the biotoxin are the two main steps in diagnosing CIRS and Mold Exposure. To diagnose CIRS and Mold Exposure, the following diagnostic tools are commonly used:

To learn more about the debilitating symptoms of mold sickness and to find out whether you have CIRS or something else, contact Proactive Wellness Centers. Our team of medical professionals is here to help you every step of the way.

 VA McNair, VA

Hope for Patients with CIRS: Proactive Wellness Centers' Mold Illness Treatment in McNair, VA

Our approach to treating CIRS utilizes integrative and functional medicine, The Shoemaker Protocol along with the latest evidence-based approaches to treating mold illness and the related secondary issues that it causes. We begin by utilizing advanced diagnostics to confirm the presence of the condition and identify the specific environment causing continued exposure to biotoxins. Next, we take a stepwise approach to halt the progression of the disease, eliminate biotoxins from the body, and reverse any damage to cellular structures. Our goal is to help patients achieve a full recovery.

To do this, we not only have to identify the primary condition like CIRS or Lyme disease, but we then have to continue looking to see if you have any of the common secondary conditions like reactivated EBV, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), and others. Once we understand the totally of your condition, then we can implement a treatment plan tailored for you. Yes, it will leverage the Shoemaker protocol, but we have found that we have to extend the protocol to cover the secondary issues that we uncover.

The steps we follow to reach that goal include:

In order to initiate the recovery process, it is important to address and resolve any affected areas, or, alternatively, relocate the patient from that environment if necessary. Prolonged exposure to mold can hinder the success of the treatment plan and impede the healing process.

Two commonly used binding agents in the process of treating Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome are Welchol and Cholestyramine. Cholestyramine is particularly effective in binding biotoxins that are processed in the liver's bile ducts and helps to eliminate them from the body. It has been scientifically proven, through placebo-controlled studies, to reverse multiple aspects of the inflammatory process associated with CIRS.

Many individuals experiencing mold sickness and other chronic inflammatory illnesses may have a staph infection called MARCoNS (Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococci) residing deep in their nasal cavities. This infection is resistant to antibiotics and needs to be eliminated for the patient to fully recover.

Each patient requires a customized plan based on the affected areas and CIRS severity. Retesting is necessary after each step to confirm balance restoration. Testing may include some or all of the following:
  • VIP
  • TGF Beta 1
  • MMP9
  • ADH
  • Antigliadin
  • Androgen Imbalance
  • C4a
  • More

In order to halt the growth of mold fungi, patients need to avoid foods that can cause mycotoxins. Some examples of these foods include:
  • Barley
  • Cottonseed
  • Peanuts
  • Corn
  • Black Pepper
  • Figs
  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Beans
  • More
Proactive Wellness has a proven track record of treating patients who have experienced severe health issues without any clear explanation. Unlike other "syndromes," our diagnosis process involves specific tests to confirm a diagnosis rather than simply ruling out other diseases.
 CIRS Mold Poisoning Treatment In McNair McNair, VA

Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue, and Chronic Pain Syndrome are examples of illnesses that are often diagnosed without such confirmatory tests. If you are experiencing unexplained health issues or have been exposed to water-damaged buildings, it is possible that you are suffering from CIRS or a mold illness.

The good news is that we can diagnose and address this disease with a mold illness treatment program in McNair, VA tailored to your body and your symptoms. That way, we can help you regain your health as soon as possible.

Be Wary of These

5 Symptoms of Mold Exposure

Mold spores can easily be brought into your home on your shoes or clothing or through open windows or doors. If these spores can find a warm, damp, humid environment, they can begin to multiply. Soon, your home can be filled with toxic mold. If you think mold has invaded your home or another environment, like in an office or warehouse, it's important for you to know about the symptoms.

Unfortunately, diagnosing mold issues can be exceptionally difficult. But why? The answer can be quite frustrating.

Understanding the Difficulty of Diagnosing Mold Symptoms

Many doctors fail to recognize the impact of mycotoxins emitted by certain indoor mold species, which can lead to chemical and inflammatory reactions. While conventional medicine acknowledges that mold can cause allergies, it may overlook this crucial aspect of mold-related health issues.

This can happen for several reasons:

  • Standardized treatment protocols for mold toxicity are offered mostly by Functional/Integrative physicians as the conventional physicians are not on board despite over 20 years of published research. Due to this issue, patients spend precious months/years going from doctor to doctor in the conventional channel with no answers.
  • Though ERMI testing has been accepted in the integrative/functional medical community, there isn't a "gold standard" in mold testing that is universally accepted.
  • Mold symptoms can manifest in vastly different ways depending on the patient.
VA McNair, VA

After understanding the points above, it's no wonder that mold poisoning can be hard to diagnose. Fortunately, integrative and functional holistic medicine providers and wellness centers like Proactive Wellness are flipping the proverbial script. Unlike traditional clinics, our team considers environmental factors that can affect patient health and has advanced training to provide mold poisoning treatment in McNair, VA.

Now that you understand why mold symptoms are so hard to diagnose let's take a closer look at five of the most common indicators of mold sickness.

 Mold Toxicity Symptoms McNair, VA


Fatigue is probably the number one symptom of well over 90% of CIRS patients. The level of fatigue varies from 5 on a 10 point scale all the way to 10 on a 10 point scale. Many patients can no longer work or remain productive as in the worst cases, the fatigue is overwhelming. College students living in moldy dorms frequently have to drop out of school until the illness is treated effectively. Older adults have to retire or stop working due the fatigue. If you have overwhelming fatigue, CIRS may be a major contributor to your illness.

 Mold Poisoning Symtoms McNair, VA

Breathing Problems

Exposure to mold can cause a host of respiratory problems, such as breathing difficulties, allergies, and asthma, especially in individuals with a weakened immune system. Mold can worsen asthma, irritate the nasal passages, lungs, and throat, and lead to symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and nasal congestion. Other health issues such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis, sinus congestion, allergic rhinitis, asthma, and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis have also been associated with mold sickness.

 Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Treatment McNair, VA

Sadness and Depression

Mold can cause a variety of illnesses that can show up in different ways, such as psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression, insomnia, concentration problems, and memory loss. It has been reported that nearly 40% of people who live in moldy homes experience depression. Researchers suggest that exposure to toxic mold and dealing with the physical symptoms of mold illness can contribute to mental health issues.

Due to this phenomenon, many mold patients are given antidepressant medications in the conventional channels.

 Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Symptoms McNair, VA

Feeling "Pins and Needles"

Numbness, twitching, or tingling in the extremities, such as hands, feet, legs, and arms, is another symptom of mold illness. The sensation is similar to pins and needles, which are often felt when the body is held in an uncomfortable position for a long time. While this sensation can indicate serious nerve damage or disease, it can also be a symptom of mold sickness.

CIRS Treatment In McNair McNair, VA

Digestion Problems and Disorders

When exposed to mold, individuals may experience various digestive problems. Some may lose their appetite, leading to unintentional weight loss. Others may suffer from stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Furthermore, the influx of mold spores may trigger systemic inflammation, causing bloating and weight gain due to the digestive system's exposure to harmful mold.

Top Tips for

Controlling Mold in Your Environment

It's not possible to completely eliminate all mold and mold spores from your home or place of work. However, since mold spores need moisture to grow, the best way to prevent or get rid of growth is to reduce the moisture in your environment. If you already have mold growing there, it's important to clean it up and address the issue causing dampness. If you only clean up the mold and don't address the underlying problem, the mold is likely to return.

Here are some tips to help reduce moisture throughout your home or office:

  • Use A/C or Dehumidifiers. This is especially important if you live in a hot, humid area of the United States.
  • Ensure A/C drip pans are clean, dry, and obstruction-free.
  • Thoroughly dry areas that are damp or wet within 48 hours.
  • Be sure to install insulation in cold areas like your home's exterior walls and windows. Doing so will reduce condensation.
  • Work with an HVAC company to check your HVAC system. Doing so can help ensure your unit is removing as much humidity as possible.
  • Keep the humidity in your home below 60% whenever possible.
 CIRS Mold Toxicity Treatment In McNair McNair, VA
 VA McNair, VA

Here are some tips to help reduce moisture in your kitchen:

  • Check for leaks near your ice makers, sinks, and anywhere else water is present.
  • Make sure your exhaust fans are directing moisture outside, not into your attic.
  • If you notice your appliances are causing moisture on windows and other surfaces, turn them off as soon as you're done using them.

Here are some tips to help reduce moisture in crawlspaces:

  • Use a plastic covering on the dirt in your crawlspace. Doing so will prevent moisture from saturating the ground.
  • Ensure that your crawlspace or basement is ventilated well.
  • Check your home's gutters. Make sure they're directing water away from your property, not toward your foundation or crawlspace.

Your Top Choice for

Mold Toxicity Treatment in McNair, VA

Trying to "tough it out" through life with CIRS isn't any way to live. If you're suffering from the effects of biotoxin illness, you should know that there are solutions available to help you reclaim your health and your life. With the help of a can-do attitude, healthy living, and mold illness treatment from Proactive Wellness, there's light at the end of the dark tunnel you're trapped within. Contact our office today to get started on your first step toward recovery!

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Latest News in McNair, VA

McNair Student Receives AAA School Safety Patrol Award

Peehu Gangwani​ was praised for her leadership skills as a captain on McNair Elementary's AAA School Safety Patrol.HERNDON, VA — Peehu Gangwani, a student at McNair Elementary, recently received the AAA School Safety Patrol Award for the 2019-2020 school year.The award recognizes school safety patrollers who excel in leadership, dependability, and service to others, according to a AAA release. Last year, Peehu was a fifth-grader at McNair, where she served as the captain of the AAA School Safety Patrol squad. Like her...

Peehu Gangwani​ was praised for her leadership skills as a captain on McNair Elementary's AAA School Safety Patrol.

HERNDON, VA — Peehu Gangwani, a student at McNair Elementary, recently received the AAA School Safety Patrol Award for the 2019-2020 school year.

The award recognizes school safety patrollers who excel in leadership, dependability, and service to others, according to a AAA release. Last year, Peehu was a fifth-grader at McNair, where she served as the captain of the AAA School Safety Patrol squad. Like her classmates, she is currently engaged in distance learning.

The Gangwani family hosted an awards presentation at their home in Fairfax County. Besides recognizing Peehu's accomplishes, family members presented her with a Visa gift card and a commemorative award of merit plaque from AAA.

“During the virtual ceremony, we saluted every member of the AAA School Safety Patrol, and thanked them for their hard work, dedication and service to others this year as Safety Patrols,” said Kristen Luck, a health and physical education teacher, and AAA School Safety Patrol sponsor at McNair, in a release. “Students and Patrol advisors and sponsors who give their time and energy to make the AAA School Safety Patrol a success are encouraged and supported by school officials, parent-teacher groups, police departments and AAA clubs.”

During its end-of-the year ceremonies, which were conducted online last spring, McNair recognized its first year Safety Patrols, sixth grade Safety Patrols, Safety Patrols captains, and the school's two years of service Safety Patrols, Outstanding School Safety Patrol (OSSP) nominations, and then OSSP Award winner Peehu.

“Peehu is a leader who helps make sure that the preschoolers and kindergarten students make it safely on and off the bus,” Luck said.“She assisted students with two bus safety evacuation drills this school year."

Luck went on to praise Peehu for her leadership qualities as a safety patroller the last two years.

"She is positive, polite, reliable, and patient," Luck said. "This school year she earned the job of being a captain. Peehu is always on time, shows kindness to all, and is responsible and respected by her fellow peers. Peehu also became one of the first Fourth Grade bus safety patrols to be selected ever at McNair Elementary last year.”

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McNair, Eagles Dancing Into Postseason

ELKTON — If high school football players were allowed to celebrate their touchdowns with dances, East Rockingham senior Jaylen McNair knows what his would be.His “trademark,” as junior Chris Rogers called it, is the popular dance of Carlton Banks from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”“If we didn’t get flagged for that, I’d probably break it out a few times because I don’t get very many rushing touchdowns,” McNair said. “I’d probably use it, I&...

ELKTON — If high school football players were allowed to celebrate their touchdowns with dances, East Rockingham senior Jaylen McNair knows what his would be.

His “trademark,” as junior Chris Rogers called it, is the popular dance of Carlton Banks from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

“If we didn’t get flagged for that, I’d probably break it out a few times because I don’t get very many rushing touchdowns,” McNair said. “I’d probably use it, I’m not gonna lie.”

Dancing, Rogers said, is one of McNair’s hidden talents.

McNair’s abilities on the football field, meanwhile, are considerably easier to discover.

The East Rock quarterback leads all area signal-callers in completions (166), completion percentage (65.9 percent) and passing yards (2,537), and has tossed an astounding 30 touchdowns to just three interceptions.

“Amazing. I’d put him up against anybody in the state, anybody that I’ve ever seen play in high school,” said Rogers, East Rock’s third-leading receiver. “He just doesn’t miss throws. We run OK routes and sometimes we mess up, but he puts it on the money wherever we are. He can just put the ball anywhere he wants to.”

No other passer in the Shenandoah or Valley Districts has more than 1,544 yards through the air or 13 touchdown passes this season.

“I mean, I expect to play well. I always strive for perfection, really, as far as my numbers. I wanted to have a season with no picks, so I’m not happy about that,” said McNair, who didn’t throw an interception until facing Riverheads in Week 7. “You shoot high. You come close, you’re still pretty good. And I improved from last year, so I’m pretty pleased.”

In nine games as a junior with a balanced offense in 2015, McNair finished with 2,003 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and six interceptions.

With less of a running game this season, a high-flying passing attack has been the driving force behind the Eagles’ (7-3) road to the No. 4 seed in the 2A East Region postseason — the program’s sixth consecutive playoff berth in seven years of existence — and a first-round matchup Friday against 13th-seeded Prince Edward in Elkton.

Still, it wasn’t easy at first for coach Donnie Coleman — a self-described “control freak” — to give McNair pre-snap freedom to change plays at the line of scrimmage.

“We’ve given him that much responsibility and he’s taken the bull by the horns. As I got to trust the kid more and more, the kid can flat-out play. There’s just no two ways about it,” Coleman said Monday morning after a film session. “There was a couple times in the last few games where it was tight, and I can do this now, I guess: I’ve learned to kind of sit back and enjoy it.”

Seated at a computer desk in an ERHS classroom Monday, Coleman pulls up game film from the Eagles’ season-opening win at Spotswood.

The first highlight he plays shows the right-handed McNair stepping up in the pocket to avoid pressure from the Blazers, and unleashing an off-balanced throw on the run that seamlessly finds the hands of senior Javon Butler some 30 yards downfield.

The second play Coleman breaks down from that game was a pass that Butler snatched at knee level for a 21-yard score over the middle from McNair. The end-zone camera angle on that snap, though, shows that McNair released the throw well before Butler was even open on the play.

“I remember standing on the sideline saying, ‘We’ve got something special here,’” Coleman said. “There’s one or two every game.”

After some of McNair’s impressively precise passes, Coleman will often make remarks about them to quarterbacks coach Tierre McNair, the senior’s father, and fellow assistant Gary Smith, the senior’s grandfather.

“When I go home, the coaching doesn’t stop,” Jaylen McNair said. “Some people, that might frustrate them because they’d never get a break or whatever, but I like that because it makes me better.”

Considering his family’s involvement in football, McNair was practically destined to be a quarterback.

There are pictures of him as an infant holding a football, he said, and his family’s history in the sport extends well beyond that time.

His father was a quarterback at Glenville State under Rich Rodriguez. Smith, who now coaches East Rock’s running backs and linebackers, was the head coach at Pendleton County High School in Franklin, W.Va., for 30 years.

McNair’s uncle, Rod Smith, was a quarterback at Bridgewater College and Glenville State, and is currently in his fifth season at the University of Arizona as co-offensive coordinator under Rodriguez.

In fact, the lone scholarship offer McNair has to this point, from Glenville State, was offered by Eric Smith, who is his cousin and the Division II Pioneers’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

“I don’t think he’s had a choice but to absorb football and know how to dig into it,” Rod Smith said of McNair, with a laugh, by phone Monday evening. “I told his mom the other day, he’s the best one of all of us.”

Rod Smith’s past coaching stops have included West Virginia, South Florida and Michigan, and McNair recalled visiting his uncle years ago and being able to meet notable former college players like Michigan’s Denard Robinson and West Virginia’s Steve Slaton and Pat White.

“He really looks out for me, tells me about the process of recruiting and what I need to do and what’s best for me to get a good look,” McNair said of his uncle. “I’m glad I have the advantages that I do.”

McNair and his uncle keep in touch regularly via text, the senior said, and Smith finally got to see McNair play with East Rock in person last month.

On what Smith called “one of the best weekend trips” he’s had in a long time, he was on hand — while getting “doused” by rain — to watch McNair lead East Rockingham to a 38-7 home win over Luray on Oct. 21.

Smith remembered putting his nephew through throwing drills years ago, and said McNair had “tremendous” form and a smooth release even at a young age.

“I thought ‘Wow, if this kid can continue to grow, get big enough and all the other intangibles come about, he can do something with this in college one of these days,’ and sure enough he’s continued to blossom,” Smith said. “I’m extremely proud of him for the work he’s put in.”

With a laugh, Smith added that the relaxed, even-keeled demeanor that’s made McNair famous within ERHS does not come from his side of the family.

But there is also a goofy side to McNair, Coleman said, recalling how the quarterback forgot to bring his helmet to a benefit game at Turner Ashby this preseason.

“Funniest kid I know,” Rogers said. “He can take any situation and make you laugh.”

McNair’s calmness, though, is just another one of the senior’s strengths behind center.

But he will show emotion when his team needs it.

“My dad and my granddad are the ones who really pointed that out to me, and I’m glad they did,” McNair said. “They prepare me pretty well, I think.”

Those two ERHS assistants have also helped McNair enhance his pocket awareness and footwork to escape pressure and still fire accurate throws, which Coleman said is one of the quarterback’s biggest improvements from a year ago.

McNair, who also plays basketball and baseball at ERHS, has been effective with his feet this season, as well. The 175-pounder, with sharper agility this season, has run the ball 51 times for a total of 195 rushing yards — an average of 3.8 yards per run — and four touchdowns without a fumble.

While Smith couldn’t comment on whether he’s thought about recruiting his nephew — due to NCAA rules that forbid coaches from commenting publicly on unsigned recruits — the Wildcats’ coach said he believes McNair “can definitely play at a high level” and will make “some program very happy pretty soon.”

Coleman, although perplexed by the lack of college interest thus far for McNair and the theory the 6-footer is too short for college football, is confident the right opportunity will come along.

“I think some more stuff’s going to come for him, but to throw for over 4,500 yards in two years and to throw the ball 30-40 times like we do and have that [touchdown-to-interception] ratio, I don’t know what else he can do,” Coleman said. “His height is what we hear, but I’ll look them right in the eye and I’ll tell them they’re crazy. This kid can play. I don’t know what else he has to do.”

Veterans Often Miss Out on the Long-Term Care Benefits They Deserve

Sometimes life's biggest setbacks end up being just the spark needed to inspire us to accomplish something life changing....

Sometimes life's biggest setbacks end up being just the spark needed to inspire us to accomplish something life changing.

10 Best Financial Benefits for Military Families

When my grandfather, a Navy veteran of three wars, required long-term care, he thought he was prepared for the expense. Over the years, he had paid $100,000 in premiums for long-term care insurance.

His careful planning was unnecessary, however. There was another way to cover the long-term care costs for him; we just didn't know about it.

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My grandfather was eligible for VA benefits, which include coverage for long-term care, from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This benefit is designed to financially assist war-time veterans and their spouses with their assisted living, nursing home or care-in-the-home expenses.


When I later learned about this benefit—and that my grandfather had been eligible—I decided to do what I could to make sure others didn't miss out and, in 2012, launched the Veteran Benefit Project. Since then, the project has helped at least 1,000 veterans qualify for the benefits they deserve.

My grandfather wasn't unusual. Although what's known as the Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit has been around since 1951, many veterans don't know about it, or don't think they qualify.

It's not that the vast majority of veterans are ineligible. In fact, the qualifications are fairly simple. Here are a few of them:

By meeting these criteria, the veteran and his or her spouse, or the surviving spouse if the veteran is deceased, are eligible for up to as much as $25,488 a year in benefits, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

How much they can receive varies depending on their situation. Here's how it breaks down:

These tax-free benefits are paid directly to the veteran or surviving spouse, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs.

What I have found over the last few years is that probably 95% of the veterans I talk with have never heard of this benefit.

That means a lot of people who could be helped by the money aren't claiming what's rightfully due to them.

Anyone with a family member who has had the need for long-term care understands that the costs can be staggering. A Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey 2016 pegged the national median expense at $43,539 per year for assisted living, $82,125 a year for a semi-private nursing home room and $92,378 per year for a private nursing home room.

Most people are in no position to take on that kind of expense in retirement.

That's why it's so important to get the word out to veterans. They earned this benefit. They need to take advantage of it.

Andrew McNair is the president, Investment Adviser Representative and Insurance Professional of SWAN Capital, which he founded in 2012. In the same year, he established the Veteran Benefit Project, an organization that helps veterans qualify for VA benefits. He specializes in the fields of retirement income, long-term-care, wealth preservation and has a strategic partnership with an attorney for estate planning services.

Andrew McNair and SWAN Capital are not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs or any other governmental agency.

Investment advisory services offered through AE Wealth Management, LLC.

Rozel Swain contributed to this article.


This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.


Building Wealth Personal Finance For Military Families Long-Term Care Insurance

Andrew McNair is the president, Investment Adviser Representative and Insurance Professional of SWAN Capital, which he founded in 2012. In the same year, he established the Veteran Benefit Project, an organization that helps veterans qualify for VA benefits. He specializes in the fields of retirement income, long-term-care, wealth preservation and has a strategic partnership with an attorney for estate planning services. He has helped inform thousands of individuals about planning for retirement.

Roanoke neighbors: Obituaries for August 21

spotlightDouglas William HeptinstallFebruary 23, 1945 - August 18, 2023Douglas William Heptinstall, 78, of Roanoke, Va., also known as "The Bone," went…Penny Lynn Poston "Nana" KarnesJanuary 20, 1952 - August 19, 2023Penny Lynn Poston "Nana" Karnes, 71, of Vinton, Va., went Home to be with Jes…James Robert LangMay 1, 1941 - August 1, 2023James Robert Lang, beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend, and child of God, died on August…Teresa Wohlford BelcherMarch 2...


Douglas William HeptinstallFebruary 23, 1945 - August 18, 2023Douglas William Heptinstall, 78, of Roanoke, Va., also known as "The Bone," went…

Penny Lynn Poston "Nana" KarnesJanuary 20, 1952 - August 19, 2023Penny Lynn Poston "Nana" Karnes, 71, of Vinton, Va., went Home to be with Jes…

James Robert LangMay 1, 1941 - August 1, 2023James Robert Lang, beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend, and child of God, died on August…

Teresa Wohlford BelcherMarch 26, 1954 - August 17, 2023Teresa W. Belcher, 69, of Roanoke, Va., passed away Thursday, August 17, 2023, at the U…

Irving Stanley BoyceDecember 9, 1931 - August 2, 2023Irving Stanley Boyce, of Roanoke, VA, died on August 2, 2023 at the age of 91.Irving was …

Anna Maria CooperDecember 10, 1958 - August 13, 2023Anna Maria Cooper, 64, of Roanoke Virginia passed away on Sunday August 13, 2023 in Charlo…

Patricia Garrett CoxApril 15, 1948 - August 16, 2023Patricia Garrett Cox, 75, of Roanoke passed away on August 16, 2023.A native of Virginia s…

Rita DuffyJuly 11, 1928 - August 13, 2023Rita Anne Duffy, 95, passed away Sunday, August 13th, at her home. Rita was born July 11th, 1928, in …

William Isaac HanksJuly 7, 1927 - August 17, 2023William Isaac Hanks, 96, of Vinton, Va., went to be with the Lord on Thursday, August 17, 202…

Bruce Edward MayerMarch 7, 1949 - August 13, 2023Bruce Edward Mayer of Stewartsville, Va., peacefully passed away on Sunday, August 13, 2023, …

Geraldine "Jerry" "Mac" Heisey McConaghieNovember 27, 1930 - August 18, 2023Geraldine Ruth Heisey was born and raised in a small Pennsylvania …

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Norfolk City Treasurer’s best friend takes the stand against him in corruption trial

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NORFOLK, Va. - Stunning testimony was heard on Wednesday in the case against Norfolk City Treasurer Anthony Burfoot as his best friend, Keith McNair took the stand against him.

McNair testified that he did not want to take the stand against his boss and best friend Burfoot but said he signed an immunity agreement to get himself out of trouble.

McNair works in the Treasurers Office and was hired by Burfoot in 2013.

The two men have been friends since college.

When asked by the federal prosecutor if McNair would believe Burfoot under oath McNair paused and said, "This is really hard for me but no."

McNair testified that he and Burfoot went out to dinner with Ronnie Boone and Dwight Etheridge and he said they always paid for both him and Burfoot.

Andrew Sacks, Burfoot's attorney fought back saying that McNair gave contradicting testimony when he was in front of a grand jury three separate times and today in court.

McNair said he was lying before to try to protect his friend.

Sacks pointed out a medical condition that allegedly affects McNair's memory.

McNair testified he never saw Burfoot take cash from the key witnesses in the case.

Burfoot took the stand last Thursday, and Monday and Tuesday and said none of the accusations against him are true.

Prosecutors allege he was bribing local businessman and developers for years.

Wednesday, the defense rested their case. Then McNair was brought up to the stand by federal prosecutors.

The case may now be in the hands of jury on Thursday. The judge has ruled that if the jury starts deliberating on Thursday, they can continue to deliberate on Friday. Throughout the past five weeks, court has not been in session on Fridays.

Federal prosecutors indicted Burfoot last January for perjury and political corruption charges. He is facing eight felony charges.

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