Veterans Aid and Attendance Basics
If you are a veteran, or you are the surviving spouse of a veteran, you may be eligible for veterans Aid and Attendance benefits from the Veterans Administration (VA). This benefit is a kind of supplemental pension for certain veterans and surviving spouses. If you have questions about these benefits, it is important to understand the basics of the program and how you can get connected with the Aid and Attendance program if you are not already, or how you can appeal if your benefits are denied.
Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits are benefits that elderly and disabled people can use to help to pay for attendant care whether at home or in an assisted living facility. These benefits are through the VA and are added to the monthly pension that a veteran or surviving spouse collects each month.
To be eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits, you need to meet certain conditions. These conditions include:
- Are Eligible for a VA Pension – You or your spouse must be eligible for a VA pension. Aid and Attendance benefits are additional VA pension benefits and are not freestanding benefits, so you or your spouse must be getting pension benefits in the first place.
- Honorable Discharge and 90 Days Active Duty – You or your spouse must have served at least 90 days active duty in the United States military, and you must have been discharged honorably.
- Disability Requirements – You or your spouse must require the aid of another person for daily living needs such as bathing or dressing, must be bedridden, in a nursing home due to mental or physical impairment, or be blind to qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits.
- Income Requirements – To be eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits you also need to meet the income requirements as follows:
- Single veterans can get up to $21,466 per year in pension benefits to qualify.
- A veteran married to a dependent spouse can receive up to $25,448 per year in pension benefits.
- Two veterans married to each other can qualify if they receive $34,050 or less in pension benefits per year.
- A surviving spouse of a veteran can get up to $13,794 a year and be eligible for these benefits.
- Finally, a surviving spouse with one dependent has a pension limit of $16,456 to be eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits.
Even if a veteran or surviving spouse’s income is more than the limit, he or she may still be able to qualify if he or she has a high amount of unreimbursed medical expenses. Any unreimbursed medical expenses that exceed five percent of the maximum pension amount per category can be deducted from the total pension amount and then that number is used to assess eligibility.
The Villages Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits Attorneys
If you think that you or a family member may qualify for Aid and Attendance Benefits, you should talk to a knowledgeable Aid and Attendance benefits attorney. Our experienced Aid and Attendance benefits attorneys at the Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group, located in the Villages, can help you to figure out what you are entitled to and help you appeal if you are denied benefits.