Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Benefits
Do you have a veteran in your life who is already receiving a VA pension? You should be aware of two extra benefits that may be available to them through the Veteran’s Aid and Attendance program. There are three types of VA pension. Each of these types is also open to the spouse of a veteran if they meet the necessary qualifications.
- The Basic VA Pension is available to senior veterans in reasonable health, as long as they meet the income requirements.
- The Aid and Attendance Pension is for seniors who need help with the tasks of daily living. It’s intended to help offset the cost of care in a nursing home or the costs of receiving home health care.
- The Housebound Pension is available for senior veterans who are unable to leave their home due to medical reasons.
To qualify for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits, the senior must be eligible for the Basic VA Pension.
More About Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Benefits
Your loved one must be a wartime veteran with at least 90 days of active duty during a period of war to apply for this extra benefit. It is not required that they engaged in combat, but they must have received an honorable discharge. If a veteran has passed away, their surviving spouse can apply for benefits.
In addition to income limits, the veteran or their spouse must meet at least one of these criteria:
- They are primarily bedridden
- They need to be in a nursing home due to a physical or mental condition
- They require help with the daily tasks of living, such as bathing, dressing, and feeding themselves
- They need regular supervision in order to live safely
- They are legally blind
For those who qualify, the extra benefits will be added on top of the Basic Pension. Your loved one can apply for Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefits at their local regional benefit office or apply online.
They will want to have the following on hand:
- A medical evaluation by a physician, with plenty of detail about their current health status and the amount of assistance they need
- A statement of their net worth and net income
- Military records
- Marriage certificate
- Death certificate, if a spouse is applying
- Social Security income records
- Statement of occupancy from a nursing home, if applicable
- Copies of insurance premiums and medical bills to provide proof of expenses paid out of pocket
It often takes several months for an application for Veteran’s Aid and Attendance to be approved, so apply as soon as possible. Expedited processing is available if your loved one is 90 years old or older. Once approved, their benefits will be paid retroactively to the claim effective date.