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VA Aid & Attendance Benefit

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The VA Aid & Attendance Benefit

A Special Pension For War Veterans

The Veterans Administration offers war Veterans and their surviving spouses a largely unknown benefit called the Aid and Attendance (A&A) Special Pension. 

The Aid and Attendance Special Pension allows Veterans and their surviving spouses to receive additional financial benefits from the VA if/when they require assistance of another person in their activities of daily living.  (Activities of daily living - called ADLs - include assistance with eating, dressing, undressing, getting into or out of bed, toileting and/or bathing.)

In addition to assisting Veterans and/or their surviving spouses, this pension benefit can be helpful to families of Veterans or surviving spouses who need additional financial assistance to provide proper care for their ailing parents or loved ones.

  1.   Aid and Attendance is a “pension benefit,” and not dependent upon service-related injuries for  eligibility and compensation.

  1.   Most Veterans who are in need of financial assistance to cover qualifying assisted care expenses are eligible for this pension; however, those who only need housekeeping assistance, respite or part-time care do not qualify for the Aid and Assistance Special Pension.

  1.   The Aid and Attendance benefit applies not only to Veterans and surviving spouses in nursing homes and assisted living facilities; it also applies to those who receive specific types of full-time health care and services in the home.

  1.   Aid and Attendance is a “pension benefit,” and not dependent upon service-related injuries for  eligibility and compensation.

  1.   The VA's pension benefit calculation is based on certain factors such as the Veteran’s dates of active service and the current level of liquid assets, income and amounts of qualifying medical or care expenses you may be paying.

  1.   A Veteran may be eligible for up to $1644 per month in pension benefits; a couple may be eligible for up to $1949 per month; and a surviving spouse may be eligible for up to $1056 per month* (with annual cost of living increases).

The Aid And Attendance Benefit From The VA

NBC Nightly News reporters Brain Williams and Anne Thompson discuss the little known special program from the Veterans Administration called the Aid and Attendance Benefit.  Click on the arrow in the video (right) to view it now.

To Qualify For The Aid And Attendance Special Pension

  1.   Veterans must have service 1 day during an active war, and had no less than a 90 day service.

  1.   The Veteran did not have to suffer an injury or wound during his or her military service to be eligible.

  1.   The Veteran did not have to serve overseas or have actually experienced combat to be eligible.

  1.   The Veteran did not have to die in service for the surviving spouse to be eligible for the Aid and Attendance Special Pension.

  1.    The Veteran must have received an honorable or general discharge.

  1.    Surviving Spouses must still have been married to the Veteran when he/she passed.

  1.    You must have a doctor’s order insisting you need the aid and attendance of another every day.

  1.    You must have less than $80,000 in checking and savings as a couple - and even less if you are applying as an individual. 

  1.    IRAs and CDs are included as income

  1.    Your income does not include your home or vehicle(s).

  1.    You can choose where you want to live and/or be cared for - as long as it is a credible facility or community or Home Care Provider.

  1.   You may not qualify for the VA Aid and Assistance Special Pension if you are on state assistance such as Medicaid or another subsidized program due to your low income.

It can take 4 to 6 months or more for your application for the Aid and Assistance Special Pension to be processed by the Veterans Administration.  Every application presents unique circumstances and the VA takes this into consideration during the qualification process.

  1.   It is important to complete the entire application and submit all of the required documentation at one time.  This helps prevent delays in processing your application.

  1.   Once it is determine you qualify for the Special Pension, all benefits are retro-dated back to the original filing date.

  1.   If the applicant is ill or older than 85, include this information with your application.  The VA will often expedite an application under these conditions. 

Application for Aid and Assistance Benefits Is Time-Consuming is a directory of Senior information and Senior resources for in-home care, healthcare, senior housing, Social Security, Medicare, Veterans benefits, elderlaw, nutrition, fitness, travel, finance, medical symptoms, consumer protection, senior  care, caregiving and more.