What is Aid and Attendance?
Aid and Attendance is a Veterans Administration benefit for war era veterans, dependents and surviving spouses. It is a reimbursement for home care, board and care, assisted living and skilled nursing. The benefit is tax free.
Who is eligible for this benefit?
Veterans and spouses who need help with some of the activities of daily living like bathing, dressing and mobility, and meet the additional wartime service and financial requirements.
How much is the pension?
The maximum Aid and Attendance pension amounts are:
Surviving Spouse – $1,432 Monthly / $17,184 Annually
Single Veteran – $2,229 Monthly / $26,748 Annually
Married Veteran – $2,642 Monthly / $31,704 Annually
Two Vets Married – $3,536 Monthly / $42,432 Annually
What does “war era veteran” mean?
To qualify for the benefit, the veteran must have served 90 days of active duty with at least one day during a wartime period. The wartime periods have been established by Congress as follows:
World War II – From December 7, 194 to December 31, 1946
Korean Conflict – From June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955
Vietnam Era – From February 28, 1961 to August 4, 1964 for veterans serving in Vietnam or on a ship off the coast of Vietnam. From August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975 for military personnel who served anywhere in the world.
Gulf War – August 2, 1990, through a future date set by Presidential proclamation or law.
Service in a combat zone is not a benefit requirement.
Veterans who started their active duty after September 7, 1980 must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty, with at least 1 day during wartime, or were an officer and started their active duty after October 16, 1981 and weren’t previously on active duty for at least 24 months.
In addition to having served during an eligible wartime period, the veteran must have received an honorable or anything other than dishonorable discharge. There are 8 types of military discharges:
honorable, general, other than honorable, bad conduct, dishonorable, entry-level separation, medical separation, and separation for the convenience of the government.
How do I prove military service?
A veteran or spouse who is applying for Aid and Attendance must provide verification of military service.
A Report of Discharge is the official record of a service member’s retirement or separation from military service. This document is also called the DD Form 214. It is given to service members who leave active duty after at least 90 days. A DD214 will show the individual’s full name, service number, rank at discharge, transfer data and other pertinent military service information. You can order a copy of a veteran’s DD214 from the National Archives, which can take several months, or a DD214 expediting company.
Can you receive VA disability benefits and Aid and Attendance pension at the same time?
Veterans receiving VA disability may qualify for Aid and Attendance pension depending on the amount of their compensation. In general, the VA will only pay one benefit at a time, whichever is the highest of the two benefit amounts the veteran or spouse is eligible for.
What is the difference between a Survivor’s Pension and Aid and Attendance?
A Survivors Pension is paid to the low-income spouse of a veteran who served during a wartime period. Aid and Attendance is a benefit paid to veterans and spouses who need long-term care.
Are there age requirements for Aid and Attendance?
Yes. The veteran must be 65 years of age or older, or totally and permanently disabled, or a resident or a patient in a skilled nursing facility due to loss of mental or physical abilities or getting Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. For a surviving spouse, there is not an age requirement.
What are the financial requirements?
There are several income and asset requirements for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit. To find out if you are financially qualified for the benefit, contact a Benefit Consultant today at 877-427-8065.
Do you have to hire a licensed person for home care?
No. Home care can be provided by a family member, friend or professional caregiver. The person providing the care does not have to be licensed.
Are there any assisted living or skilled nursing facility requirements?
Yes. To qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a veteran or spouse who is a resident of an assisted living or skilled nursing facility must be paying for and receiving assistance with at least two types of daily living activities.
Can you qualify for Medicaid while receiving the Aid and Attendance benefit?
A veteran or spouse in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility who currently receives the VA Aid and Attendance benefit but can no longer afford to pay out of pocket for their care, may be able to qualify for Medicaid long-term care. If the person is approved for Medicaid, their Aid and Attendance benefit will be reduced to around $90 a month.
Can you receive both Aid and Attendance and hospice care?
In most cases, a person receiving Aid and Attendance can also receive hospice care. There are no VA hospice care restrictions, but eligibility for independent hospice care service providers may be affected by receiving Aid and Attendance so it is best to check with the provider.
How do you apply for the benefit?
To apply for the Aid and Attendance benefit, you must submit a claim form. The paperwork involved in submitting a claim can be extremely complex. To find out more about the application process, contact a Benefit Consultant today at 877-427-8065 or click here.