Aid and Attendance Benefits: Eligibility of Veterans and Surviving Spouses

Many veterans and their families may not be aware of an important benefit that they could be entitled to that can help them pay for long-term personal assistance needed at home or in a nursing home setting. This is the VA Aid and Attendance Benefits, and many veterans and their families may qualify for it. However, applying for the benefit and showing that you are in fact eligible can be complicated, unless you retain an experienced elder law attorney to help you.

What Are VA Aid and Attendance Benefits?

VA Aid and Attendance Benefits are monthly assistance payments paid to a wartime veteran or to his surviving spouse if he is deceased. The benefit can pay for aid to be given at the person’s home, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home. The assistance can be provided by family, friends, or healthcare professionals.

For the veteran or surviving spouse to qualify, a veteran must meet certain requirements. He must have served at least 90 days of active military service during the following wars:

  • ​World War II from December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946
  • Korean War from June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955
  • Vietnam War from August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975 unless the veteran served in Vietnam
  • Vietnam War from February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975 for a veteran who served in Vietnam
  • Gulf War from August 2, 1990 until a date set by law or Presidential Proclamation

The veteran must also have served at least one day during a period of war and have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

The veteran or his surviving spouse must also have special needs for care to qualify for benefits. These include one of the following:

  • ​To be bedridden due to his disability
  • To be a patient in a nursing home because of his mental or physical incapacity
  • To be blind or have loss of vision that meets VA requirements
  • To need the aid of another person to perform daily activities such as bathing, eating, dressing, and using the restroom, or to protect himself from the hazards of his daily environment

In addition to these basic requirements, the veteran or surviving spouse will often need to meet income and asset requirements. If a person qualifies, he can receive a monthly payment of between approximately $1,149 and $2,120. This is in addition to any pension and social security benefits the person is receiving. This assistance can be paid on a long-term basis, which is very important to veterans and their spouses who need long-term assistance or the care provided in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Do you need to apply for VA Aid and Attendance Benefits or other veteran benefits? Our experienced attorneys are here to answer your questions and guide you through the process of applying for these benefits. Call our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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