Aid And Attendance Benefits Requirements For The Villages Military Veterans
In addition to other government pensions, combat veterans or their surviving spouses who require constant care may be eligible for Aid & Attendance benefits. Available benefits are even higher for homebound veterans and surviving spouses. Given the escalating cost of nursing home care, which could be over $98,000 a year, these benefits could almost literally be a godsend for many families in The Villages.
There is more good news. Lawmakers recently increased the benefits amount, so more veterans have access to more of the money they deserve.
Service and Health Eligibility Requirements in The Villages
The pension is available to combat veterans who are at least 65 years old, or younger veterans who are completely and permanently disabled. In addition to a discharge other than dishonorable, a veteran must have at least one day of service during:
- World War II (12/7/1941 – 12/31/1946),
- Korean War (6/27/1950 – 1/31/1955),
- Vietnam War (8/5/1964 – 5/7/1975), or
- Persian Gulf War (8/2/1990 – the end of the conflict).
Such service, which must be at least 90 total days (720 days after September 1980), need not be combat related and need not have even been in-country.
Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, eligible veterans must be either over 65 or disabled. In this context, the government defines total disability as:
- Need for another person’s assistance in performing some daily tasks,
- Residency in a nursing home because of a physical or mental incapacity,
- Complete immobility (bedridden), or
- Corrected vision worse than 5/200 in both eyes.
The same disability requirements apply to both combat veterans and eligible surviving spouses.
Financial Eligibility Requirements in Florida
Countable assets do not include a house, a vehicle, most personal property, and other such items. As for the income requirements, they are quite complex. As of 2017, a single veteran with no dependents must earn less than $12,907 a year, a veteran with at least one dependent must earn less than $16,902, and a surviving spouse must earn less than $8,656.
To calculate this figure, the government considers most sources of income other than Social Security and other public assistance benefits. Moreover, unreimbursed medical bills are deductible up to a certain amount. Such expenses include:
- Long-term care costs,
- Health insurance premiums,
- Many medical supplies, and
- Most unreimbursed health care costs, like dialysis and prescription drugs.
The deduction cannot exceed 5 percent of the Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR). That usually translates to between $450 and $850 a month.
As of 2017, the maximum benefit is $25,525 a year, but to receive this amount, the applicant must have zero countable income and at least one dependent.
Rely on Experienced Attorneys
Individuals who served in harm’s way may be eligible for significant benefits. For a free consultation with an experienced elder law attorney in The Villages, contact the Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group. Home and hospital visits are available.