Not every veteran of the United States military is indigent. In fact, many veterans go on to lead productive lives, develop great skills, and have wonderful careers. Still, there are plenty of veterans who are also limited in their income. As veterans age, they might be relegated to a paltry pension, Social Security payments, and possibly even a disability check that may only be enough to cover their basic living expenses, including their mortgage, rent, food, utilities, and medications.
If an aging veteran requires home care support of any kind, and if they don’t have extra money left over at the end of each month, they may simply never consider this a realistic possibility.
What could be done in these situations?
There is a pension called the Aid and Attendance Benefit that was designed to help veterans just like this. A veteran who is considered a ‘wartime veteran’ would have served at least one day of their active duty service during a time of official combat, as defined by Congress.
Essentially, this means a veteran who served any time during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or the Gulf War, whether they saw active combat or not, would be considered a wartime veteran.
Veterans also need to be able to prove home care is necessary right now in their life in order to begin receiving this type of financial support. The best way to prove home care is essential is through a doctor’s recommendation, but there are other ways they can do this. If the veteran requires assistance with personal hygiene, such as taking a shower or going to the bathroom, getting dressed, preparing meals, or even getting out to a doctor’s appointment or to go shopping at the store might be able to prove this by documenting these needs.
What about income?
Currently, the income and asset threshold is $119,000, combined. That means a veteran’s income and personal assets (possibly not including their primary residence) cannot exceed $119,000 in order for them to qualify.
If a wartime veteran doesn’t have the financial resources to pay a home care aide, they might feel as though there is no hope for them, but there is. They should be encouraged to apply for the Aid and Attendance Benefit as soon as the need for home care is realized. It might take many months for approval, and patience and persistence may be necessary during the process.