Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Pension

 

Many veterans and their families assume that there are no benefits for veterans unless they were either wounded in combat or suffered a service-connected disability. This is not true.  If you are an honorably discharged veteran who served at least one day during a period of wartime and if you are in an assisted living facility or are spending a significant amount each month for care in your home, then you may qualify for benefits under the Veteran's Administration Aid and Attendance program. 

 

Individuals Who Qualify for Aid and Attendance:

 

  • Veterans

  • Veteran’s Spouse

  • Surviving Spouse of Veteran (a surviving spouse must have been married and living with the veteran at the time of the veteran's death and the surviving spouse must be single at time of claim.)

 

Helping You Pay For Long-Term Care Assistance with Activities of Daily Living:
 

Aid and Attendance is available to a veteran, spouse or surviving spouse who is disabled, and has the additional requirement of needing the assistance of another person in order to avoid the hazards of his or her daily environment (in other words, the veteran needs someone to help him or her prepare meals, bathe, dress, and otherwise take care of himself or herself).

 

  • In Your Home

  • Home Care Agency

  • Assisted Living

  • Memory Care

  • Skilled Nursing

2016 Maximum Monthly Tax-Free Benefits:

 

Married Veteran - $2,120

Single Veteran - $1,788

Surviving Spouse - $1,149

Veteran w/ ill spouse - $1,404

Married Vets, both need help - $2,837

 

Eligibility:

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  • Any wartime veteran with 90 days active duty

  • 1 day during active war (see dates below)

  • Discharge other than dishonorable

  • Meets medical requirements

  • Meets asset and income tests.

 

 

Medical Requirements:
 
  • The Applicant requires the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting himself/herself from the hazards of his/her daily environment; or

  • The Applicant is bedridden, in that his/her disability or disabilities requires that he/she remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment; or

  • The Applicant is a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity; or

  • The Applicant is blind or so nearly blind as to have corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less, in both eyes, and concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.

 

Service Qualifications:

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  • At least 90 days of active duty, but need not have served in combat

  • One day of active duty during a period of war (see table below for qualifying periods of war)

  • Discharged from service under conditions other than dishonorable

 

War or Conflict Beginning & Ending Dates:

 

  • World War I   (April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918)

  • World War II   (December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946)

  • Korean conflict   (June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955)

  • Vietnam Era   (February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975, for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975)

  • Gulf War (August 2, 1990 – through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation)

 
Financial Requirements:

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  • Comparison of gross monthly income vs. out-of-pocket medical expenses.

  • Assets include cash, stocks, bonds, cash value life insurance, annuities &. retirement accounts. The VA does not count personal property including the veteran’s primary residence or one vehicle of any value.

  • The income and asset test must be passed in order to qualify.

 

Planning for the Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit can be confusing and time-consuming. A denial can cost your family thousands of dollars in lost benefits while you appeal or re-apply.

 

The VA now requires that anyone who assists a veteran or surviving spouse of a veteran with the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of a claim for Aid and Attendance must be accredited by the VA before they can legally provide assistance. Thus to protect yourself while going through the Aid and Attendance application process, make sure you are using an accredited agent. To check if a person is accredited, go to www.va.gov/ogc/apps/accredidation/index.html and type in their name for confirmation. Karen I. Finley is an accredited attorney with the VA administration.

 

To learn more about your rights regarding Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits and other available legal options, schedule your free consultation by calling the Finley Law Firm at 314-664-5500.  You can also contact us online.  All communications remain entirely confidential.