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Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit

What is it?

Aid and Attendance (A&A) is a benefit paid in addition to monthly pension. Benefits may be available for Veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in bathing, dressing, meal preparation, medication monitoring or other various activities of daily living. This benefit is available to individuals who reside in assisted living communities, personal care homes, skilled nursing facilities and those receiving person in-home care.

How can these benefits help someone and how much is available?

Aid and Attendance can help pay for care in the home, skilled nursing facility, personal care home an assisted living community. A Veteran may be eligible for up to $19,728 a year, a Veteran with a dependent spouse may be eligible for up to $23,388 per year, a surviving spouse of a Veteran may be eligible for up to $12,672 a year and two Veterans married to each other may be eligible for up at $30,480 a year.

Who is eligible?

Any War Veteran with 90 days of active duty with at least one day during active war time. A surviving spouse of a War Veteran may be eligible if he/she remained married to the Veteran until his/her time of death and has not remarried. The only exception to this rule is if the remarriage took place after January 1, 1971 and ended before November 1, 1990. The individual must meet medical, service and financial qualifications as described below.

Medical Qualifications

  • The Veteran requires the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting himself/herself from the hazards of his/her daily environment, Or,
  • The Veteran is bedridden, in that his/her disability or disabilities requires that he/she remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment, or,
  • The Veteran is a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity, or,
  • The Veteran is blind, or so nearly blind as to have corrected visual acuity for 5/200 or less, in both eyes, and concentric contraction of visual field to 5 degrees or less.

Service Qualifications

  • At least 90 days of active duty, but need not have served in combat.
  • One day of active duty during a period of war.
  • Discharged from service under conditions other than dishonorable.

War or Conflict

War or Conflict Dates of Eligible Service
World War II 7 December 1941 through 31 December 1946
Korean Conflict 27 June 1950 through 31 January 1955
Vietnam Era 5 August 1964 through 7 May 1975; for Veterans who served “in country” before 5 August 1964, 28 February 1961 to 7 May 1975
Gulf War At least 24 months - 2 August 1990 through a date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation

Financial Qualification

  • VA compares gross monthly income to out of pocket medical expenses.
  • Assets are included in the equation for eligibility. Personal property such as the Veteran’s home or vehicle, are not included in this number.
  • A complicated Income and Asset Test must be “passed” in order to qualify. VA does not disclose this special provision to the public. If these are submitted incorrectly the Veteran will be denied the benefit.
  • Therefore, we strongly recommend you contact your Right at home representative who can put you in contact with a VA Accredited Claims Agent who can complete the forms for you - at no charge to you.

There is also a “Housebound” benefit that can be paid in addition to monthly pension, and, like A&A, Housebound benefits first require eligibility to pension (different criteria apply). A Veteran cannot receive both Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits at the same time.

If I am already receiving monthly payments or a service-connected disability can I get a VA pension too?

You cannot receive a VA non-service connected pension and service-connected compensations at the same time. However, if you apply for pension and are awarded payments, VA will pay you whichever benefit is greater.

How do I apply for Veterans non-service connected pension?

Contact your local Right at Home office for assistance and they will provide you with the information you need, including referral to an Accredited Claims Agent who can assist you with your application.

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