In Part 2 of this Primer series, we will take a closer look at the VA “Pension” benefit available to certain wartime benefits.
The “Pension” benefit is commonly and mistakenly referred to as the “Aid and Attendance” (A & A) benefit. As discussed below, the A & A benefit is but one of three “Pension” benefits.
The “Pension” benefit is actually three separate but related benefits. The fundamental benefit is the “Improved Pension”. There is an additional benefit for those who meet the requirements of being “House Bound”. Finally, there is the Aid and Attendance benefit for those whose medical condition requires the “aid and attendance” of others. In later parts of this Primer, we will further explore the requirements for these benefits.
What are the “Pension” benefits? They vary depending on the applicant’s status, i.e., veterans and surviving spouses of veterans and the level of benefit applied for. The benefit amounts are also typically adjusted each year. Set forth below are the figures for 2012.
For the veteran, the 2012 maximum monthly basic pension benefit is $1,021 for an individual and $1,337 for the individual and one dependent. The 2012 maximum monthly House Bound benefit is $1,248 for an individual and $1,564 for an individual and one dependent. The 2012 maximum monthly Aid & Attendance benefit is $1,703 for an individual and $2,019 for an individual and one dependent.
For a surviving spouse of a wartime veteran, the 2012 maximum monthly basic pension benefit is $684 for an individual and $896 for the individual and one dependent child. The 2012 maximum monthly House Bound benefit is $837 for an individual and $1,048 for an individual and one dependent child. The 2012 maximum monthly Aid & Attendance benefit is $1,094 for an individual and $1,306 for an individual and one dependent child.
Next, we will explore the three-part test to establish eligibility for the pension benefit.
WARNING: This Primer series is for educational purposes only and is only a general discussion of the topics. It is not a substitute for personalized legal advice based upon one’s individual circumstances and goals. For such advice, seek the counsel of an experienced and qualified elder law attorney accredited to practice before the VA.
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