The Aid & Attendance Benefit is available to many Veterans and their surviving spouses to help pay for long-term care. For those who qualify this benefit usually means over $1,000 to $2,000 tax-free cash per month (paid directly to the Veteran, surviving spouse, or their representative). There’s more information you can learn about this important benefit but the number one thing most visitors to this site want to know is do I qualify. To find out right now, click here.
The VA Aid & Attendance benefit (technically known to the Department of Veterans Affairs as Special Monthly Pension with Aid & Attendance) is a little-known cash benefit to help Veterans and Widows of Veterans pay for medical care. Eligibility for this benefit requires that the person applying meet certain basic qualifications as well as some asset and income limits. An attorney accredited by the VA can, legally and within VA regulations, help most people who meet the basic qualifications to successfully apply for this benefit.
Asset/Income Limits and Benefits
Many Veterans and Surviving Spouses of a Veteran (Claimants) are potentially eligible for Aid and Attendance (A&A) Pension Benefits. Veterans can also qualify for medical supplies and medicines if the basic and financial qualifications are met.
Max Monthly Benefit Allowed
* These amounts may change each year based on cost of living adjustments.
There are two qualification levels. The first level is the most difficult to meet because it is based on factors which are not subject to change. Claimants must satisfy all of the requirements. In other words, there are no actions a Claimant can take that will help them qualify if they do not meet these requirements. Click here to answer a simple questionnaire and determine right now if you or a loved one meet the basic qualifications.
The second level is different. An accredited attorney can often help a Claimant to make changes that would allow him or her to meet second level qualifications, such as creation of a trust, officially documenting caregiving expenses, and protection of the equity in your home.
The first level of qualification is:
- The Veteran must have served 90 consecutive days on active military duty.
- The Veteran must have received a better than dishonorable discharge.
- The Veteran must have served at least 1 day of active duty during a war period (there is no requirement that any service be performed in a combat zone).
- The surviving spouse must not have divorced the Veteran or remarried after the Veteran’s death.
- The Veteran must be 65 years of age or older or completely disabled as defined by the Social Security Administration. There is no age requirement for surviving spouses.
- The Claimant must not be able to drive a car.
The second level of qualification for the Claimant (where action can be taken to change the Claimant’s situation to allow eligibility):
- The household cannot have more than the allowable countable assets. Total allowable, countable assets vary from household to household. An accredited attorney can help position almost any assets in such a way that qualification is possible.
- The monthly household income minus unreimbursed recurring monthly medical expenses is Income for VA Purposes (IVAP). This figure must be less than maximum pension amount available to the claimant. Most people do not accurately document the care they need and/or receive on a monthly basis. Even when that care is provided by family, an accredited attorney can document it appropriately to aid in income qualification.