Are you or a loved one a U.S. military veteran or the spouse of a military veteran? Veterans or their surviving spouses who are in need of care may qualify for some financial assistance on top of their basic pension. The Aid and Attendance benefit, one that many people aren’t entirely aware of, provides financial assistance to veterans and their spouses who need long term care but can’t handle the full cost of care on their own.
What exactly is Aid and Attendance though? Put simply, Aid and Attendance is a pension program that is provided to veterans and their surviving spouses through the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). As most know, the VA helps veterans and their families by providing them with supplemental income through special benefit programs. These programs are typically available to veterans (or widowed spouses) who are in good health, are 65 or older, and have a low income level.
Veterans and surviving spouses who are eligible for a VA pension and who are housebound or require the aid and attendance (hence the name) of another person may be eligible for additional monthly payments above the normal pension amount. This is where the Aid and Attendance benefit would come into play.
There are a few eligibility requirements for the Aid and Attendance benefit, the first being that the person is eligible for the basic VA pension. The VA has many eligibility factors for the basic pension:
● An honorable discharge
● Aged 65 or older (or permanently disabled)
● Minimum service requirements (90 days active duty, one of those days being during active wartime)
● A monthly income and assets below the limits set by the VA.
In order to qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit, one would also need to meet one of the following additional medical requirements:
● The need of assistance from another person for everyday tasks like bathing and dressing.
● Are in a nursing home, due to mental or physical incapacity such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
● Are bedridden or have specific eyesight limitations.
Depending on care needs or financial status, the Aid and Attendance benefit can provide $2,170 or more per month to go towards the cost of various types of care including in-home care which isn’t typically covered by insurance or Medicaid.
If eligible the Aid and Attendance benefit is the perfect way to help offset the cost of care. Typically, in order to apply one would need to complete a long list of forms and either mail them or turn them into the nearest VA regional office. Filling out all that paperwork can be tedious, but if you go to aidandattendance.com/seniorhelpers you can fill out a simple questionnaire that can tell you how much you are eligible to receive as well as offer an inexpensive way to fill out the needed paperwork so you can send it off so you can receive your benefits as quickly as possible. The benefit also pays retroactively, so the first payment will include the time you were paying for care while the application was being reviewed.
Don’t let the cost of care intimidate you. There are plenty of resources out there to help you pay for the care you need and deserve and, if you need it, Senior Helpers will be there to help you every step of the way.