2020 Aid and Attendance Pension Rates & Eligibility Requirements


Each year the Veterans Administration makes an adjustment to VA benefit pay rates based on the Social Security Administration’s annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

This includes both disability compensation and pensions like Aid and Attendance.

In 2019, the increase was 2.8%. This coming year (2020) the increase is 1.6%.

Cost of living adjustments started in 1975 to counteract inflation. Before 1975, Social Security increases only took place when Congress enacted special legislation.

What is Aid and Attendance

Aid and Attendance is a VA benefit for veterans and spouses who need long-term care. This tax-free benefit is a reimbursement for either home care, board and care, assisted living and skilled nursing home care. Home care can be provided by a friend, family member or professional caregiver.

Here are the 2020 maximum Aid and Attendance benefit amounts for veterans and spouses based on the new cost-of-living increase.

2020 Aid and Attendance Benefit Requirements

There are very specific eligibility requirements for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit. To start with, the veteran must have served 90 days of active duty, with at least one day during an eligible period of war. The dates for World War II, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam Era and Gulf War are:

  • World War II – December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946
  • Korean conflict – June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955
  • Vietnam Era (serving in the Republic of Vietnam, including ships in Vietnam coastal waters) – February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975
  • Vietnam Era (serving anywhere in the world) – August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975
  • Gulf War – August 2, 1990 through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation)

The veteran must also have had an honorable (or anything other than dishonorable) discharge.

Other veteran requirements include:

  • Must be 65 years of age or older or totally disabled (the disability does not need to be service-connected);
  • Needs the assistance of another person to perform some of the daily activities of living like bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring.

For surviving spouses:

  • Must have been married to the veteran at the time of his/her passing and not remarried,
  • Needs the assistance of another person to perform some of the daily activities of living like bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring.

Income and Assets

The VA has stringent income and asset requirements for Aid and Attendance claims. The veteran or surviving spouse must meet the VA’s financial criteria in order to receive the benefit.

What does “dependent” mean?

Veterans and surviving spouses can add dependents to their Aid and Attendance claims.

When a veteran is still married and his or her spouse needs care, the spouse is considered a dependent spouse. A married veteran can be awarded a Basic Pension if he or she has a dependent spouse.

Children, including biological children, adopted children and step-children, may also be claimed as dependents if the children are:

  • Unmarried, AND
  • Under the age of 18, OR
  • Between the ages of 18-23 and attending school full-time, OR
  • Were seriously disabled before the age of 18.

The Aid and Attendance process can be complex and difficult, even when the veteran or spouse meets the basic requirements.

If you or a loved one are a veteran or spouse and need help paying for long-term care, contact one of our Benefit Consultants at 877-427-8065 to find out more about Aid and Attendance, and how the benefit and claim process works.

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