If your loved one is a veteran over the age of 65 who needs assistance with his daily living activities, you may be wondering if there are any Veterans Administration (VA) benefits that could help pay some costs of hiring the needed help. Yes, your loved one might be eligible for funds. Therefore, let’s talk about what veterans need to know about Aid and Attendance benefits.
The VA Aid & Attendance benefit is also known as:
- Improved pension
- VA assisted living benefit
- Veterans elder care benefits
Your loved one must be eligible for the VA Basic Pension to qualify for Aid & Attendance benefits. Basic Pension requirements include being over the age of 65 and having a low income. To get the added benefit of Aid & Attendance, a veteran must need someone’s help to perform routine daily activities, such as grooming, dressing, eating and administering medications. She might get Aid & Attendance younger than age 65, if the VA has declared her to be permanently and totally disabled.
Additional Eligibility Requirements for Aid & Attendance Benefits
You must meet the VA’s definition of a “wartime veteran.” You cannot be dishonorably discharged. You must need daily assistance with independent living activities, but your condition need not be from your military service. You can either go to your local regional VA office or write to the Pension Management Center (PMC) for your state to apply for the Aid & Attendance allowance.
A married veteran who may qualify for up to $25,525 in annual VA benefit.
What Aid & Attendance Can Provide
Aid & Attendance does not provide services to veterans. It gives money to veterans, so they can pay for their elder care assistance. It is possible for a qualifying veteran and spouse to get more than $2,127 a month in cash to pay for their care providers. You can use your monthly check to pay for in-home services or disability-related home modifications. Other options include adult day care services, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing. You can also use the funds to pay a non-spouse relative to provide caregiver services.
Avoid Disqualification of Other Benefits Programs
Receiving Aid & Attendance benefits can make you ineligible for some other assistance funds. Medicaid counts Aid & Attendance checks as income, which may kick you over the maximum allowed income for Medicaid benefits qualification. You may not get both a VA Disability check and VA Aid & Attendance. You can, however, receive help from both Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services and VA Aid & Attendance benefits. You cannot collect both VA Housebound and VA Aid & Attendance allowances.
This posting discusses the general law. The law in your state may be different, so always talk with an elder law attorney in your area.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Aid & Attendance and Housebound.” (accessed October 29, 2017) https://www.benefits.va.gov/pension/aid_attendance_housebound.asp
Paying for Senior Care. “VA Aid and Attendance Program and other Pensions Benefits for Aging Veterans.” (accessed October 29, 2017) https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/longtermcare/resources/veterans_pension.html