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January 7, 2019

What Three Things Should Veterans Understand About the Aid and Attendance Pension?

For veterans who’ve heard about the Aid and Attendance pension program -made available through the VA- it can feel like a bit of a relief. That’s especially true for veterans who may have physical infirmities or challenges that make it difficult to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) on their own. Getting homecare support could possibly be the difference between staying safe and living independently and having to move into some type of facility.

Not all veterans will qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits. The pension was developed following World War I and initially focused on helping soldiers who had been injured and disabled during battle get the care they needed at home. It expanded through the years and now provides financial support to ‘wartime veterans’ who are dealing with some type of disability. That disability or physical challenge does not need to have been the direct result of their service.

Below are three important things veterans should understand about Aid and Attendance pension benefits. Understanding these early may just help encourage some aging veterans to apply for benefits when they know a homecare aide would be an asset.

First, their time of service is essential.

It’s not just about how long they served, but when. If they served any time (even one day) during World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam Conflict, they need to have served a minimum of 90 days active duty. If they served any time during the Gulf War, that minimum service requirements is two years.

Second, they must meet specific income and asset threshold limits.

The Veteran’s Administration has set forth a guide that may change regularly regarding the combined income and assets a veteran must have in order to qualify. If they exceed that threshold limit, they may not be eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits.

A primary residence and other assets that cannot be quickly and easily converted into cash may not be calculated against the total. Also, even if a veteran has been denied another pension through the VA due to their income and assets, the threshold limits are different for this pension program.

Third, a doctor must recommend services.

If the veteran feels that a homecare aide would be an asset (in either performing basic activities of everyday life or staying safe), a doctor must recommend these services, in writing (in most cases).

When a veteran feels he/she would qualify for Aid and Attendance, they should fill out and submit an application at their earliest possible opportunity to begin relying on these benefits as soon as possible.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Cicero IL, please contact the caring staff at Big Hearts Home Care today! 

Matthew Calcagno

Matthew is a graduate of Robert Morris College and is a U.S. Navy veteran.Matthew founded Big Hearts Home Care after over a decade at HP. Spending time volunteering at his grandparent’s senior center inspired him to make a bigger difference in the quality of care seniors receive.His grandfather whom turned 100 in 2015 is still a major inspiration to him in seeing that service is provided with a family focused touch.

It is his passion and commitment to providing quality service that has awarded Big Hearts Home Care as Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice in the Chicagoland area. He believes that being an independently owned and operated company allows him the flexibility to manage the business in a way that better serves the clients.


"Helping people is what I was meant to do; it inspires and motivates me," Calcagno said. "I also get to help veterans - assisting them in the VA pension process and providing care for several in the area. This is what I love to do."

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