The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Aid and Attendance benefit helps veterans and spouses cover the costs of long-term care, including home care, board and care, adult day care, assisted living and skilled nursing facility care. The benefit is paid monthly and is tax-free.
Aid and Attendance compensation and pension amounts vary depending on whether the claimant is a veteran or spouse, married or unmarried. The payments go up each year based on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) cost of living adjustments (COLA). COLA adjustments are based on inflation as measured in the third quarter of the current year compared to the third quarter from the previous year.
On October 13th, the SSA announced a 2022 COLA increase of 5.9% to help offset the highest rate of inflation in the past 40 years (6.2% annually).
The VA will be increasing benefit amounts by 5.9% as well. Here are the new 2022 figures for the Aid and Attendance pension:
2021 MONTHLY BENEFIT AMOUNT
2022 MONTHLY BENEFIT AMOUNT
2022 ANNUAL BENEFIT AMOUNT
Two Married Veterans
The new rates take effect on January 1st, 2022.
Additional Aid and Attendance benefit amounts can be awarded if the veteran or spouse has dependents – 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.
Net Worth Limits
Another change for 2022 is an increase in net worth limits for VA pension benefits. The new net worth limit is $138,489.
Back in October 2018, the VA changed their asset regulations to make them easier to understand. In addition to establishing an asset cap, the VA also implemented a 3-year look-back period on any asset transfers.
VA Aid and Attendance financial regulations can be extremely complex. If you would like to know more about VA asset rules and regulations, contact one of our benefit consultants today at 877-427-8065.
In order to qualify for the VA Aid and Attendance pension benefit, the veteran must have served at least 90 days of active duty, with at least 1 day during a war period. The wartime service dates have been established by Congress as follows:
World War II: December 7, 1941, to December 31, 1946. If the veteran was in service on December 31, 1946, continuous service before July 26, 1947, is considered World War II service.
Korean conflict: June 27, 1950, to January 31, 1955
Vietnam War era: November 1, 1955, to May 7, 1975, for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period (boots on the ground or on a ship off the coast). August 5, 1964, to May 7, 1975, for Veterans who served outside the Republic of Vietnam.
Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990, through date to be prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law.
A veteran who entered 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 some exceptions), with at least one day during an eligible wartime period.
Additionally, the veteran must also have received an honorable (or anything other than dishonorable) discharge. Service is verified by the Defense Department Form 214 (DD214).
Age Requirements for Aid and Attendance
A veteran applying for the pension benefit must be at least 65 years of age or older, or totally and permanently disabled. The disability does not have to be related to the person’s service.
The spouse of a veteran can be any age.
The surviving spouse of a deceased veteran may be eligible for the Aid and Attendance pension benefit if he or she was married to the veteran for at least a year before the veteran passed.
A surviving spouse who remarries is no longer eligible for the benefit unless the spouse remarried to another veteran. In cases of remarriage, if 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, he/she may also qualify for the benefit.
Surviving spouses who were married to the veteran for less than a year, but had a child with the veteran, may apply for the benefit as well.
Types of Care
Aid and Attendance is a reimbursement for home and facility care. Home care can be provided by a family member, friend, or professional caregiver. The person providing the care does not have to be licenses.
The type of care being provided must include help with some of the activities of daily living (ADLS). These daily living activities are:
- Mobility/Transferring – help getting up or down stairs, in or out of a vehicle, in or out of a bed or chair.
- Dressing – Help buttoning, zippering, putting clothing on or taking clothing off; getting clothes out of the closet.
- Bathing – Any assistance with bathing, brushing teeth, grooming or personal hygiene. Can also include help adjusting the shower head or water temperature and handing someone a towel.
- Toileting – help on or off the toilet, assistance with incontinence.
- Eating – help cutting up food, feeding the person.
This also includes standby assistance – having another person present within arm’s reach to prevent injury during the performance of a daily living activity.
In cases involving cognitive impairment, the assistance can be in the form of reminders to bath, change clothes, etc.
The Aid and Attendance benefit helps veterans and spouses pay for the long-term care that they need. Contact us today at 877-427-8065 or click here to find out more about how the benefit and claim process works.