There are numerous questions elderly or disabled veterans and their family may have regarding Aid and Attendance Benefits. The Aid and Attendance pension program was developed by the VA following World War I. Initially it was intended to provide financial support to those soldiers who had been injured or disabled during battle. The money provided through this pension was meant to be used for proper care and support at home.
Through the years it was expanded to provide support for veterans from all walks of life, whether they were actually injured or disabled during active duty service or not. In order to qualify, a veteran must have served at least 90 days active duty in one of the major branches of the United States military. A minimum of one day of service needs to have overlapped an official time of combat.
Loosely stated, this includes World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War. If a veteran served any time during the Gulf War, they need to have served a minimum of two years instead of 90 days.
Also, the veteran must be able to show home care services are an absolute necessity at this point in his or her life. If they need help with Activities of Daily Living, they must be able to show this. A doctor’s recommendation for home care services support may also be required.
Finally, the veteran needs to have combined income and assets that do not exceed $119,000, though a primary residence may not be included in those calculations.
But, what if a veteran still drives?
Driving requires a great deal of mental acuity, foresight, agility, reflexes, and coordination. While a person who has been disabled in some way may be able to drive themselves with a specially fitted vehicle, an aging veteran with diminished physical or mental capacities might no longer be safe behind the wheel.
It is tough to say with any certainty, but if an aging veteran is still driving to go visit with friends, to get to doctors’ appointments, to go shopping, to go to the park, and do other activities, he or she may not be considered eligible because they are able to handle some advanced tasks throughout the day.
If a veteran has any questions about this, they should be encouraged to contact their local VA representative, but odds are if they are still able to drive without an issue, it may be difficult to convince the approval committee that home care services are absolutely necessity right now, at this point in their life.