VA Aid & Attendance Rates


The Department of Veterans Affairs provides tax-free monthly payments to eligible veterans and surviving spouses who require care in the home or in a care facility.  The purpose of this benefit program is to help veterans who served our nation, and their spouses, receive the long-term care that they need.

Like Social Security benefits, the Aid & Attendance pension is indexed to inflation. For 2022, the benefit amounts increased by 5.9%, the biggest jump in over 40 years. 

The full benefit amounts for 2022 are:

Surviving Spouse – $1,318 monthly/$15,816 annually

Single Veteran – $2,050 monthly/$24,610 annually

Married Veteran – $2,431 monthly/$29,175 annually

Two Married Veterans – $3,261 monthly/$39,036 annually

Given continuing climbing inflation, with comparable cost-of-living increases, it’s expected that those pension rates will again rise commensurately for 2023.

Navigating the Process

The claim process is complicated and can be very time-consuming to attempt on your own. One son of a wartime veteran, who looked into the onerous VA forms, called it “mind-numbing”.  Similar to dealing with taxes, many people opt for a more streamlined and reliable solution of using professionals who know how to jump through the hoops and navigate this process.

American Veterans Aid’s VA Accredited Claims Agent and team of specialists know how to get the prefiling work done correctly (which is crucial for approval) and how to maneuver the entire process to a successful and swifter result.

Let’s take Grace as an example, daughter-in-law of a surviving spouse of a World War II veteran.  Her mother-in-law fell, broke her hip, and had to be transitioned to a long-term care facility on self-pay. The monthly cost far exceeded her monthly income.  With the help of American Veterans Aid, Grace’s mother-in-law was approved by the VA and now has $1,318 deposited into her account each month, tax-free.  That is on top of her Social Security and retirement income.

Grace expressed it like this:

“American Veterans Aid was very buttoned up, knew exactly what was needed for and assembled the detailed 40 plus page application. They helped respond when the VA came back with questions (already answered in the application) and generally made an overwhelming application process as easy as possible for me. Our application was approved, and aid commenced from the VA within 3 months of application submission.”

Some people mistakenly think that their local VA office can approve their claim. However, the local VA offices do not process claims. The VA has three regional processing centers that handle all claim applications. Depending on the state the claimant resides in, the claim will be processed in one of these processing hubs:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Saint Paul, Minnesota

The VA currently, per their website, has over 600,000 pending claims in their system (not just this benefit but all other claims as well). This is another reason many prefer to have a VA-Accredited professional in their corner.

Cost of Care Increases

Considering today’s rising cost of home-based care services and care facilities, the Aid & Attendance benefit can help more than ever in offsetting these financial burdens for elderly wartime veterans and their widows.

According to Genworth Financial Inc.’s 2021 cost of care survey, home-based care has been heavily impacted by changes in the labor market in the past 2 years.  There is an insufficient supply of caregivers to meet the increasing demands for home care services.

Caregiver wages rose on average 12.5% last year. Prices can vary widely from state to state and from urban to rural areas. Depending on one’s location, the median hourly rate for a home health aide can range from $19-21 to $34-36.  The above-mentioned survey showed the states with the highest cost of home health aides were Minnesota, Washington, Colorado, New Hampshire, and California. The states with the lowest costs were West Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas.

Likewise, the cost of assisted living has gone up considerably.  While prices can differ greatly state to state, the average monthly rate for an assisted living facility ranges from about $3,000 a month to $5,900 a month (New Jersey having the highest average).

Adding the Aid & Attendance pension into the equation can go far in both increasing the quality of care and decreasing the financial stress for aging war era veterans or their surviving spouses, and their family members.

Qualification factors

The Aid & Attendance benefit is for those who require regular (not necessarily daily) assistance or attendance with two of the following: bathing, dressing, mobility (the medical term is “transferring”), eating (not meal preparation) or toileting.

Some of the key factors looked at include:

  • The veteran’s wartime service – he must have had 90 days of active duty with at least one of those days during a period of war. (A dishonorable discharge would be a disqualifying factor.) 

The eligible war periods are:

World War II: Dec 7, 1941 – Dec 31, 1946

Korean War: Jun 27, 1950 – Jan 31, 1955

Vietnam War: Aug 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975 (or Feb 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975, for Veterans who served in Vietnam)

Gulf War: Aug 2, 1990 – Undetermined

  • If the surviving spouse was married to the veteran when he passed and did not remarry.
  • Monthly gross income from all sources compared to costs of care such as home health aides, caregivers, assisted living, residential care homes, and private nursing homes.  Family members can also be counted as caregivers if documented correctly.
  • Estimated other annual income such as stock dividends and IRA distributions.
  • Monthly health insurance premiums.
  • Assets, not including the claimant’s primary residence, personal belongings and vehicle.

There are a lot of technicalities that come into play.  While I’ve outlined some of the most important elements, it’s best to seek consultation with a specialist so you don’t trip up and fail, or risk losing many months of benefit payments. To learn more and to find out if you or a family member may qualify for this, click here or call one of our Benefit Consultants today at 877-427-8065.

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