If you’ve heard about a particular pension that can provide you possibly more than $2,000 per month for years and that money could be used to pay for a service that is absolutely essential for your safety, well-being, or comfort, would you apply for it? Most people would say yes, so long as they were confident they would be approved.
When elder veterans need home care, but can’t afford it, they may hear about the Aid and Attendance Benefit. However, if they assume, without looking into it further or in more detail, that they would never be approved, they might not fill out the application or submit it.
Why is the Aid and Attendance Benefit an asset to consider?
This is a pension program made available through the VA that is intended to provide financial assistance to qualifying veterans who need some type of home care. A person who can prove home care is necessary will likely have difficulty with mobility, be recovering from major surgery, injuries sustained in an accident, or some other disability.
It might even be a spouse or other dependent who is having difficulty with some of their own basic care. When a veteran or his or her spouse needs some type of assistance and care at home, it might be provided by a close family member or friend because they don’t think they can afford it on their own.
The requirements for the Aid and Attendance Benefit may sound complicated.
They are actually straightforward and simple to understand. One of the major hang-ups for some veterans, though, is the requirement to be considered a ‘wartime veteran.’ This doesn’t mean the veteran needs to have fought in a forward combat situation. It simply means at least one day of their active duty service needs to have overlapped a time of official combat. Generally speaking, this includes World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War.
If they served any time during the first three combat situations, their minimum time of service needs to have been 90 days, otherwise it is two years.
They also need to be able to prove home care is necessary. There are numerous ways to go about this, but if a doctor has suggested home care, that can go a long way in the approval process.
Finally, their combined income and assets need to be no greater than $119,000. This usually does not include a primary residence, which is another point of confusion. Veterans in need of home care support or who have dependents who require home care services and may qualify for the Aid and Attendance Benefit should be encouraged to fill out and submit the application.
Maybe they won’t qualify, but if they do, it would be a tremendous asset that would be missed otherwise.