While many people are unaware it exists, the Veterans Administration (VA) Aid & Attendance Special Pension provides monetary assistance to wartime veterans – and their surviving spouses – who need regular personal assistance. Qualifying aid or assistance can be provided at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home, and can be provided by friends, family members, or healthcare professionals.
Currently, the Aid & Attendance pension can provide up to $1,703 per month to an unmarried veteran, $1,094 per month to a surviving spouse, or $2,019 per month for a veteran who is married and $1,337 per month where the spouse of a married veteran needs care.
Best of all, if the veteran qualifies, Aid & Attendance funds are provided in addition to monthly pension and Social Security benefits.
If you or someone you love is a veteran and needs help with daily activities like cooking, cleaning, dressing, driving, mobility, or other assistance, the Aid & Attendance benefit can provide the funds needed to pay for that help. Many elderly veterans and surviving spouses whose incomes are above the congressionally-mandated legal limit for a VA pension may still be eligible for monthly Aid & Attendance benefits if they have high expenses for care, including nursing home expenses, that are not reimbursed by insurance or other sources. There are also some estate planning methods that can help increase your changes of qualifying for additional VA assistance.
Aid & Attendance benefits can make a real difference but, filing a claim can be complex and time-consuming. Like most entitlements, veterans benefits are not awarded automatically – to receive them, you have to apply.
In Part 2, we’ll cover the basic criteria for qualifying tor the Aid & Attendance benefit.