Aid and Attendance
Veterans and their spouses or surviving spouses may be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, which is non service-connected.
Question: Someone told me that due to my medical condition I could be eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits?
Answer: Yes, you may be eligible for Aid & Attendance (A&A), a benefit paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to veterans, their spouses or surviving spouses. It’s paid in addition to a veteran’s basic pension. The benefit may not be paid without eligibility for a VA basic pension.
Aid & Attendance is for applicants who need financial help for in-home care, or to pay for an assisted living facility or a nursing home. It’s a nonservice-connected disability benefit, meaning the disability does not have to be a result of service. You can’t receive nonservice-connected pension and service-connected compensation at the same time.
Aid & Attendance benefits are paid to those applicants who:
- Are eligible for a VA pension
- Meet service requirements
- Meet certain disability requirements
- Meet income and asset limitations
Housebound Benefits may be paid in one of two situations:
- The veteran has a single permanent disability evaluated as 100% disabling and due to such disability, he or she is permanently and substantially confined to his or her immediate premises.
- The veteran has a single permanent disability evaluated as 100% disabling and another disability, or disabilities, evaluated as 60% or more disabling.
Validating the Need
The application should include copies of any evidence, preferably a report from an attending physician validating the need for A&A or housebound type care.
The report should be in sufficient detail to determine whether there is disease or injury producing physical or mental impairment, loss of coordination, or conditions affecting the ability to dress and undress, feed oneself, attend to sanitary needs, and keep oneself ordinarily clean and presentable.
It’s also necessary to determine whether the claimant is confined to the home or immediate premises. Whether the claim is for A&A or housebound, the report should indicate how well the person gets around, where the individual goes, and what he or she is able to do during a typical day.
A pension is a benefit VA pays to wartime veterans who have limited or no income and who are at least 65 years old or, if under 65, are permanently or completely disabled.
There are also “Death Pensions,” which are needs-based for a surviving spouse of a deceased wartime veteran who has not remarried.
Veterans or their surviving spouse may be eligible if the veteran:
(1) Was discharged from a branch of the United States Armed Forces under conditions that were not dishonorable
(2) Served at least one day (didn’t have to be served in combat) during the following wartime periods and had 90 days of continuous military service.
- World War I: April 6, 1917, through Nov. 11, 1918
- World War II: Dec. 7, 1941, through Dec. 31, 1946
- Korean Conflict: June 27, 1950, through Jan. 31, 1955
- Vietnam Era: Aug. 5, 1964 (Feb. 28, 1961, for veterans who served “in country” before Aug. 5, 1964), through May 7, 1975
- Persian Gulf War: Aug. 2, 1990, through a date to be set by Presidential Proclamation or Law.
If the veteran entered active duty after Sept. 7, 1980, generally he or she must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty (there are exceptions to this rule).
Veterans, their spouses or surviving spouses can be eligible for A&A benefits if they meet one of the following disability requirements:
- The aid of another person is needed in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living
- The claimant is bedridden
- The claimant is in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity
- The claimant is blind, or so nearly blind as to have corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less, in both eyes, or concentric contraction of the visual field to five degrees or less
The claimant’s countable family income must be below a yearly limit set by law.
Countable income means income received by the claimant and his or her dependents. It includes earnings, disability and retirement payments, interest and dividends, and net income from farming or business.
A claimant must report all income, but VA will exclude any income the law allows. Public assistance is not counted as part of countable income.
The annual income limits for A&A are higher than those set for the basic pension. The maximum benefit paid monthly to a single veteran is $1,704, but the veteran must have countable income of $0 to receive the maximum benefit.
For more information, contact your local national service officer.
Contact: PVA Veterans Benefits Department, 800-424-8200.
Aid and Attendance
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