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October 16, 2018

Is It Possible to Appeal an Aid and Attendance Decision?

Waiting for six, eight, nine, or even 12 months to find out whether a veteran was approved for Aid and Attendance benefits to be used for homecare support is certainly going to be frustrating. However, the VA does offer reimbursement for homecare services provided while the application was pending, presuming the veteran will be approved for the anticipated amount.

Homecare can be a wonderful asset.

A homecare aide, especially somebody who has a great deal of experience supporting other seniors and veterans can be a great asset at improving safety and quality of life. As people get older or deal with disabilities, their independence and options for living become limited.

A homecare aide can assist an aging veteran with a wide range of basic tasks of everyday life, commonly referred to as Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs. This can include getting dressed, preparing meals, bathing, toileting, doing some laundry, assisting with light housekeeping, going shopping at the local grocery store, taking trips to the park, the mall, or to visit with friends every once in a while.

While there are specific requirements for the Aid and Attendance benefit, what happens in the event a veteran has been denied or the amount of the award was significantly less than expected?

Could that veteran appeal the decision?

Anyone can appeal decisions, including through the Veteran’s Administration, but it’s important to understand why a decision was rendered in the first place. Simply appealing because one doesn’t agree with or like the decision is not going to warrant much traction.

Do the veteran’s income and assets fall within the limits for this pension?

In many cases understanding time of service, length of service, and other specific, easily measurable factors that are required for approval of Aid and Attendance benefits are simple enough to understand. Unfortunately, the income and asset threshold limit has a bit more leeway or flexibility for the approval committee. In other words, one veteran may be approved who has similar income and assets as one in a different part of the country who was denied.

A primary residence is generally not calculated in these numbers, nor are assets that cannot be quickly and easily converted into cash to be used to pay for homecare support services. Some of these factors are up to the discretion of the advisor or approval committee. Therefore, if a veteran has been denied Aid and Attendance benefits due to income and asset issues, there may be grounds to appeal, but the process can be lengthy, frustrating, and lead, ultimately, to the same results.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Grayslake 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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