Benefits For Veterans Over 65

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Senior U.S. military veterans are eligible for a wide range of benefits from the Veterans Administration. Some of the key benefits for veterans over 65 include disability compensation, pension, health care, and burial support.

Disability Compensation

Disability Compensation is a tax-free monthly payment provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to veterans who are eligible for benefits. This compensation is available to veterans who became sick or injured while serving in the military or whose service exacerbated an existing condition. When a veteran’s disability is directly caused by their military service, it is referred to as a service-connected disability. The VA may also extend benefits to surviving spouses, dependent children, and dependent parents of disabled veterans depending on the circumstance.

Veterans with physical or mental health conditions may receive compensation ranging from $152.64 per month to over $3,000 per month, depending on their disability rating. The pay is even higher for veterans with a spouse and/or dependents.

The application process for Disability Compensation involves a thorough medical review to determine how the veteran’s condition affects their daily life and ability to work. This review is a crucial step in the process, as it forms the basis for the veteran’s disability rating, which in turn determines the level of compensation they are eligible to receive.

VA Pension

The VA pension, referred to by the VA as Veterans Pension, provides monthly payments to wartime veterans who are age 65 or older, or have a permanent and total disability, and who have income and net worth within certain limits. For a surviving spouse, the benefit is referred to by the VA as Survivors Pension.

In addition to VA pension, veterans who require the regular attendance of another person, or are housebound, may qualify for Aid and Attendance or

Housebound benefits. These are benefit payments added to the monthly VA pension rate.

Aid and Attendance is a monthly monetary compensation program for veterans and spouses who require regular assistance with daily activities such as eating, bathing, dressing, and toileting. This financial aid can help reimburse the costs of home care, assisted living or skilled nursing facilities. It can even pay for adult daycare. The Aid and Attendance benefit is tax-free and does not need to be repaid.

It’s important to note that the Aid and Attendance benefit is specifically available to veterans who served during wartime and are aged 65 or older. However, a veteran’s surviving spouse can be any age. Keep in mind, however, that the spouse must have been married to the veteran for at least a year, in addition to being married when the veteran passed, and never remarried.

Veterans under 65 can also receive the benefit if they have a permanent and total disability, are patients in a nursing home for long-term care because of a disability or get Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.

Monthly VA Pension with Aid & Attendance Amounts:

Surviving Spouse                $1,478 Monthly / $17,743 Annually
Single Veteran                     $2,300 Monthly / $27,609 Annually
Married Veteran                $2,727 Monthly / $32,729 Annually
Two Vets Married              $3,649 Monthly / $43,791 Annually

With Aid and Attendance, you can hire your own home caregiver, with the flexibility to choose a family member (except the veteran’s spouse), friend, or professional caregiver. This caregiver does not need to have any specific certification or license, and they also don’t have to live with the veteran.

There are various types of home caregivers, including:

1. Personal assistant (sitter): This can be a family member, neighbor, or friend who offers companionship and assists with daily living activities as needed.

2. Home health aides from agencies: These professionals help with daily living tasks. Depending on the agency, they may also assist with meal preparation, provide transportation, run errands, and handle light household chores. It’s important to note that home health aides are typically supervised by a licensed medical professional. These days, the rate of pay for a home health aide is between $30 and $40 per hour or more.

3. Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNA) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) are trained professionals who provide essential medical care, including taking vital signs, wound care, cleaning catheters, and monitoring infections. Some licensed professionals can also administer specific types of medical treatments.

Aid and Attendance can help a veteran or spouse stay at home longer or move to an assisted living facility where they can get the care that they need.

VA Health Care

VA Health Care is a comprehensive program that offers general medical and specialist care, surgery, home health care, and senior care. It also provides medical equipment, prosthetics, and prescriptions. Currently, over 9 million veterans are enrolled in VA health care.

To be eligible for VA health care, individuals must have served in active military duty with any discharge status except dishonorable. There are specific service requirements based on the enlistment or entry date for veterans. Additionally, members of the Reserves or National Guard who were called to active duty may also be eligible for VA health care.

The 2022 PACT Act expanded VA health care benefits to veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other chemical and toxic substances, as well as veterans of the Vietnam War, Gulf War and post 9/11.  It added 20 more presumptive conditions and toxic exposure screening to every veteran enrolled in the system.

A presumptive condition is a health condition the VA automatically assumes was caused by military service.

Burial

The VA provides burial benefits based on the cause of death. For service-related deaths, the VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses, and for non-service-connected deaths, up to $796. Additional requirements for burial eligibility can be found on the VA’s website.

Need More Information About the Aid and Attendance Benefit?

Understanding the requirements can be difficult, especially the benefit’s financial criteria. People applying for this benefit on their own often make mistakes on the application that result in processing delays and denials. Sometimes the process can drag on for years because of missing or incorrect information.

Before you apply, contact a Benefit Consultant at 877-427-8065 or click here to find out how the Aid and Attendance process works and what will be needed to get a claim approved.

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