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Aid and Attendance Benefits for Widows of Korean Conflict Vets

The Korean War took place during the 1950s between North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and South Korea (Republic of Korea). Several countries were involved in the conflict, including China, Russia and the United States. Millions of U.S. military personnel served during the Korean War.

Were you or a loved one married to a Korean War veteran? Widows (surviving spouses) of Korean Conflict veterans may be eligible for a special long-term care benefit from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) called Aid and Attendance. This tax-free benefit pays up to $1,209 per month ($14,508 per year) to help cover the cost of home or facility care.

Korean Conflict Military Service Requirements for Aid & Attendance

There are specific war periods for veterans that help establish the veteran’s and his or her spouse’s eligibility for Aid & Attendance. The war period for the Korean Conflict starts on June 27, 1950 and ends on January 31, 1955.

The spouse of a Korean Conflict veteran may qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit if the veteran served at least 90 days of active duty, with at least one day during this wartime period. Active duty means the veteran was in the military full time – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Serving in a combat zone during this period is not a requirement. The veteran could have been stationed anywhere in the world, as long he/she served 90 days of active duty with at least one day during the wartime period of June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955.

The veteran’s military discharge status must also be anything but dishonorable, such as an honorable discharge, general discharge or family hardship discharge.

Information about the veteran’s military service, including dates of entry, discharge and years/months of active duty, can be found on the veteran’s DD 214. The DD 214 is a Department of Defense military document that is issued after the service member’s retirement, separation or discharge from military duty.

Aid & Attendance Marriage Requirements

To qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit, the surviving spouse of a Korean Conflict vet must have been married to the veteran for at least one year prior to the time of his/her passing. A spouse who divorced the veteran before he/she passed is not eligible for the benefit.

Other rules that apply:

  • Eligible: The widow was married to the veteran less than a year but had a child with the veteran
  • Eligible: The widow married another veteran who also meets the military service requirements for a pension
  • Eligible: The widow remarries (second marriage) on or after January 1, 1971 and the marriage is terminated by death or divorce before November 1, 1971.
  • Not Eligible: The widow of a veteran remarried a non-veteran.

Age Requirements for a Spouse

A veteran must be 65 years of age or older to qualify for a VA pension. The surviving spouse of a veteran can be any age.

Aid and Attendance Financial Requirements

To qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit, the surviving spouse must meet the VA’s income and asset requirements. The VA’s financial regulations can be complex and confusing. If you would like to find out more about Aid and Attendance asset and income criteria, contact an Aid and Attendance benefit consultant today.

Care Requirements

Aid and Attendance is a VA pension for veterans or spouses who need the help of another individual to perform daily living activities (ADLs). It is estimated that nearly half of Americans age 65 and over will need help performing ADLs, and eventually enter a care facility.

ADLs Explained

There are 5 main types of activities of daily living – bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring and eating. Bathing assistance includes adjusting the shower head or water temperature, or providing any other type of bathing help the person needs.

Dressing is any help at all with dressing, such as buttoning or lacing, or even picking out clothes.

Toileting is assistance in and out of the bathroom, help with incontinence, etc.

Transferring refers to any help needed with mobility – standing up or sitting down, getting into or out of a vehicle, etc.

Eating is feeding someone. It is not meal preparation, but the actual activity of helping someone eat.

Caregiving is also defined as stand-by assistance, meaning someone is nearby to provide any physical assistance that is required if and when it is needed. Reminders to bath, dress, eat, etc.

Home and Facility Care

Aid and Attendance is a reimbursement for the cost of long-term care, including home care, board and care, assisted living, skilled nursing and, in special circumstances, independent living.

Care at home can be provided by a family member, friend or professional caregiver. The caregiver does not need to be licensed to assist with the activities of daily living.

A board and care home is typically a residence with 8 to 12 people who need care. There is usually 24 hour staffing and various care services, including personal care, medication management and meal preparation.

Assisted living facilities have staff who provide help with personal care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Other services include meal preparation, medication management, and social activities. Assisted living facilities can be extremely large, with many hundreds of residents.

A skilled nursing facility provides both personal care and medical services. Medical treatment is provided by licensed nurses, with licensed physcians supervising the care.

Independent living is communal living for seniors. To qualify for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit, a surviving spouse in an independent living community must also be receiving personal care.

Aid and Attendance is one of the VA’s most underutilized benefits. If you or a loved one are the widow of a Korean War Vet and need help with daily living activities, this special pension can cover the cost of your care. To learn more about this benefit and how we can help, register now to speak with a Benefit Consultant.

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