Veterans have access to a number of pension programs that can assist them through a wide range of challenges they face. There are pension programs to assist veterans suffering from PTSD. There are some that can provide housing assistance. There’s also a pension available to ‘wartime veterans’ that can help them get home care if they can’t afford it and need it.
It’s called the Aid and Attendance benefit. This pension was developed following World War I. It was initially designed to provide financial help to soldiers who had been injured and/or disabled during combat. They would be able to receive care at home once they returned from overseas.
It has expanded through the years and now provides financial assistance to veterans from all walks of life, whether they were injured or disabled during active duty service or not.
What requirements must be met?
The veteran needs to have served at least one day of their active duty service during a time in which the United States was officially engaged in combat. Generally speaking, these combat periods include World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict, and the Gulf War.
If the veteran served any time overlapping or during World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam Conflict, their minimum time of active duty service is 90 days, otherwise it is two years.
If the veteran is under 65, he or she would need to be considered completely disabled in order to qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits. If they are 65 or over, they need to have a documented requirement of home care, usually provided through a doctor’s recommendation.
Also, the veteran must have limited financial means. In other words, their combined income and assets cannot exceed certain threshold limits. A primary residence and other assets that cannot be quickly converted into cash may not be calculated against the total. However, if that veteran has a second home, a vacation home, or other such assets, they may be calculated in on the threshold limits.
It’s important to apply as soon as the veteran understands he or she might need home care.
If their doctor has recommended home care and they believe they would qualify, it’s highly advisable that the veteran submit an application as soon as possible for Aid and Attendance benefits. That’s because the approval process can take many months.
The VA does offer reimbursements for home care services provided while the application is pending, provided it is ultimately approved.
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