Aid and Attendance is a Veterans Administration (VA) benefit for veterans and spouse who need help with personal care. The benefit can help cover the cost of home care, board and care, adult day care, assisted living and skilled nursing facility care.
Home care can be provided by a family member, friend, or professional caregiver.
Every year the VA adjusts the amount of the benefit based on the Social Security Administration’s annual cost of living increase.
As of December 1, 2020, the Aid and Attendance benefit will increase by 1.3%. Here is a breakdown of Aid and Attendance rates for 2021.
2021 MONTHLY BENEFIT AMOUNT
2022 MONTHLY BENEFIT AMOUNT
2022 ANNUAL BENEFIT AMOUNT
Two Married Veterans
These benefit amounts can increase if the veteran of spouse has dependents. A dependent is a biological child, adopted child or stepchild that is:
- Not married, and
- Under 18 years of age, or
- Between the ages of 18-23 and attending school full-time, or
- Were seriously disabled before the age of 18.
Are you receiving DIC?
Disability and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is another type of benefit paid to the surviving spouse of a servicemember who died in the line of duty or whose death was the result of a service-related injury or illness. A DIC recipient may also qualify for Aid and Attendance. The DIC maximum Aid and Attendance benefit amount for the coming year is $336 per month, tax-free. If you are receiving DIC and would like to find out more about the Aid and Attendance benefit, visit the Disabled American Veterans website at dav.org.
New Net Worth Limits
The VA will also be increasing the amount of assets a veteran or spouse can have and still qualify for the benefit. The new asset limit is $130,772.
As a reminder, there is a look-back period on any asset transfers. This policy went into effect on October 18, 2018.
VA asset rules and regulations can be extremely complex. If you would like to know more about Aid and Attendance income and asset requirements, contact a Benefit Consultant today at 877-427-8065 or click here.
Military Service Requirements
The VA Aid and Attendance benefit is a long-term care benefit for veterans and spouses who can no longer live on their own. The veteran must have served at least 90 days of active duty with at least one day during a wartime period. The veteran’s discharge status must also be anything other than dishonorable.
Here are the wartime service dates approved by Congress:
- World War II – December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946
- Korean Conflict – June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955
- Vietnam Era – Early Years (serving in the Republic of Vietnam, including ships in Vietnam coastal waters) – February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975
- Vietnam Era Later Years (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)
A veteran can combine periods of active duty to meet the 90-day active-duty requirement. The period of service must always include at least 1 day during a war period, regardless of how long a veteran served.
The veteran must be at least 65 years of age or older, or totally and permanently disabled. The disability does not need to be service related. The spouse of a veteran can be any age.
A surviving spouse of a veteran may be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit if he or she was married to the veteran at the time of passing. The spouse must have been married to the veteran for at least one year.
A spouse who remarries can only qualify for this benefit if the remarriage was to a veteran, except for the following: the spouse of a deceased veteran remarried and divorced the second spouse (or the second spouse passed away) between January 1st, 1971 and November 1st,1990 and never married again.
A surviving spouse who was married to the veteran for less than a year but had a child with the veteran may be eligible for the benefit as well.
To qualify for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit, the veteran or spouse must need help with some of the activities of daily living. “Activities of daily living” is a healthcare term that describes a person’s ability to function on their own.
There are five main types of daily living activities for VA purposes:
- Mobility – needing help getting up or down stairs, in or out of a vehicle, in or out of a bed or chair. Generally, it is the lack of ability to sit, stand or walk.
- Bathing – Any assistance at all with bathing, brushing teeth, grooming or personal hygiene. Can also include help adjusting the shower head or water temperature and handing someone a towel.
- Dressing – Help buttoning, zippering, putting clothing on, taking clothing off; getting clothes out of the closet.
- Eating – Assistance with eating – cutting up food, feeding the person.
- Toileting – help on or off the toilet, assistance with incontinence.
In cases involving dementia or Alzheimer, the assistance can be reminders to bath, change clothes, etc.
The Aid and Attendance benefit enables veterans and spouses to help pay for the care that they need. Please contact us today to learn more about benefit requirements and qualifications.