Long-term care, whether at home, in a nursing home, or an assisted living facility can be very costly. Many Veterans and their families are unaware of benefits they are entitled to through the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”).
Aid and Attendance is probably the most common type of pension benefit offered through the VA. It may be available to the Veteran or to the surviving spouse of a Veteran.
In order to be eligible to receive an Aid and Attendance pension, the veteran must meet the following requirements:
- Annual family net income is below the yearly limit set by law. The annual net income limits can be found here.
- Cannot have excessive “net worth”. Although no limit has been established on how much net worth (assets minus debts) a veteran and his/her dependents may have, generally net worth must be less than $80,000. It is important to note that assets do not include one’s primary residence and a car.
- Must be disabled. For VA pension purposes, disability refers to a person that requires assistance with the activities of daily living (bathing, feeding, dressing, etc.). The disability is not related to the veteran’s military service and cannot be due to willful misconduct.
- A physician must also document the need for the veteran to receive caregiver services. Typically, a veteran will receive care in an assisted living facility or non-medical home care services.
- The veteran must have had at least 90 days of active military service, at least one day of which was served during official wartime. To have served during wartime, the veteran did not need to see combat or even leave the country.
- The veteran’s discharge must be other than dishonorable.
The application process for Aid and Attendance benefits is an extensive process and often times many applicants have questions while filling it out. For this reason, although not mandatory, many seek assistance. Also, many seek assistance because if denied, there is a year waiting period before you may reapply.
Benefits of Aid and Attendance
Through Aid and Attendance, a single Veteran could be eligible to receive up to $1,794 per month, a married Veteran up to $2,127 per month, married Veteran couple (both are Veterans) up to $2,846 and a surviving spouse of a Veteran could receive up to $1,153.
Additional pension benefit figures may be found here.