There are an estimated 21.8 million veterans living in the United States right now (US News). The majority of them are not considered elderly, and most are simply not aware of various pensions that might be available to them in the event they need support and homecare.
The Aid and Attendance Benefit is one of the best options for those veterans who may need homecare but can’t afford it. Unfortunately, there are plenty of reasons why more veterans simply don’t know about this and the Homebound pension programs.
Reason #1: They don’t think they’ll ever need it.
If a person doesn’t think a certain financial program, pension, or other system is going to be necessary for them, they most likely won’t look into it. They may have heard about the Aid and Attendance Benefit, but only in a passing manner. Once they learned it was for qualifying veterans who needed homecare and couldn’t pay for it, they may have dismissed any notion about looking into it for themselves.
In reality, though, if a veteran lives to be 75, 80, or even 90, there may come a time when he or she truly does need that level of homecare support. If they can’t afford it because of their limited income, the Aid and Attendance Benefit could be an option to consider, if they would qualify for it.
Reason #2: They assume they won’t qualify, anyway.
Veterans need to have served at least one day of their active duty service during a time of official combat. If they are not considered a wartime veteran, they will assume they won’t qualify. Unfortunately, too many veterans believe that the stipulation for active combat means they needed to have fought in a forward combat situation.
For the Aid and Attendance Benefit, that is not the case. They need only to have served at least one day during a time in which United States was officially engaged in combat, which includes World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War.
Reason #3: They’ve been denied other pensions.
If the veteran has applied for other pensions and been denied, either due to eligibility factors with regard to income and so on, they may assume the same will hold true of this pension. What they need to understand is the qualifications for Aid and Attendance are different than for other pensions, so even though they may have been denied an application for a different pension, they might be eligible for this one.