If a veteran is considered elderly and is beginning to struggle with basic care at home, he or she may be considering an agency to provide these services. If they are limited in their income and assets, don’t have enough money to really pay for these services on their own, there is a pension made available through the Veteran’s Administration that could help.
This pension is called the Aid and Attendance Benefit.
It is available for wartime veterans, those who served at least one day active duty during a time in which the United States was actively engaged in combat. There are some things these veterans should be aware of when considering applying for Aid and Attendance benefits.
First, time of service is important.
A veteran needs to have served at least 90 days’ active duty in one of the major branches of the United States military. On top of that, at least one day of their service needs to have overlapped a time in which the United States was actively engaged in combat. Generally speaking, this includes World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War.
If a veteran served any time during the Gulf War, their minimum time of service needs to have been two years rather than just 90 days.
Second, they must be able to show a documentable need for home care support.
The VA suggests veterans submit a letter of recommendation from their doctor stipulating that home care is necessary for either safety, mobility, or maintaining Activities of Daily Living at this point in their life. Usually, when a person is looking into the Aid and Attendance Benefit, they will need long-term care.
If they don’t submit a letter of recommendation from their doctor, the veteran will need to find a way to show, without question, they aren’t safe alone or can’t perform basic tasks of everyday life on their own without it.
Third, their combined income and assets cannot exceed threshold limits.
Currently, the VA has posted combined income and asset threshold limits to be $119,000. This generally does not include a primary residence, such as the veteran’s house. However, there may be certain conditions in which that primary residence is calculated as an asset for this threshold.
If the veteran is not earning a lot of money through a job, pension, Social Security, disability, or other income, and they don’t have a lot of assets and couldn’t pay for home care by themselves, they might want to look into applying for Aid and Attendance today.