One of the biggest concerns we see time and again, whether we’re working with a veteran, spouse, or a close loved one, is how to cover the costs for care as age and time begin taking their toll. It shouldn’t be surprising. Anyone with a parent or grandparent who needs increasing levels of medical care or even assistance with day-to-day care likely understands the multiple levels of worry that come with age. Not only is medical care a top priority, but even with quality health insurance coverage, the increasing expenses that come along with aging can weigh heavily. If you or your loved one is a veteran who served even just a single day during war times, the VA Aid and Attendance Pension can offer additional funding to help.
While many believe the Aid and Attendance Pension is only for elderly veterans, this is not the case. However, the additional support it provides comes with a list of eligibility requirements that mean it is primarily seniors who qualify for this form of veterans aid. In order to qualify for Aid and Attendance, the veteran has to have served at least 90 days of active duty service. Further, at least one day of active duty service has to have occurred during war times. To see what constitutes a wartime period according to the VA, you can see the list on their website. In addition to the service stipulations, the veteran will also need to qualify for the Veterans Pension before qualifying for Aid and Attendance. In order to qualify for the Veterans Pension, the veteran must meet one (not all) of the following qualifications:
- Be 65 or older and meet certain income restrictions
- Be totally and permanently disabled
- Receive skilled nursing care in a nursing home
- Receive Social Security Disability Insurance
- Receive Social Security Income
Once qualified for the Veterans Pension, a veteran may also apply for the VA Aid and Attendance Pension. In order to be eligible, the veteran must require the aid of another to perform everyday activities necessary for living (things like bathing and dressing, feeding, adjusting prosthetics, attending to bathroom needs, and so on), be bedridden, a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity, or have limited eyesight to a specific degree. In addition, surviving spouses and children may also be eligible to apply, if they are eligible for the Survivors Pension benefit. If all of these qualifications have your eyes crossing, the Patriot Angels team can help you sort out whether you or your loved one is eligible.
Applying for Aid and Attendance
As we mentioned above, the first step toward applying for Aid and Attendance is actually starting with the Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension. To apply, you will have to submit an application through one of two sources: the Pension Management Center in your state or the VA’s regional benefit office in your area. Once you or your loved one is receiving the appropriate pension and meets the additional requirements of the Aid and Attendance Pension, you will have to submit an application. As with the Veterans Pension, you can apply for Aid and Attendance through either the Pension Management Center or your local regional benefits office. When you apply for Aid and Attendance, you will need to include supporting documentation that shows the need for that additional assistance. In order to help the application process, you should include a report from the attending physician that details the cause of the physical or mental impairment that led to the need for regular aid or assistance. The application will also need to detail how much or little the applicant is able to do on a daily basis as well as the accommodations made, whether that is a caregiver in the home or an assisted living facility.
Get Help Applying
It can often feel like there are too many hoops to jump through in order to receive any sort of assistance from veterans benefits. At Patriot Angels, our team is here to help you navigate the Veterans Pension and Aid and Attendance application process so you can receive the benefits you have earned. We are here to educate you and be your advocates, not sell you unnecessary products! If you think you or a loved one is eligible for Aid and Attendance, contact our team today to get started!