The most helpful benefit available to wartime Veterans in need of long-term care is also one of the most underutilized—the Aid and Attendance Pension Program. Our experienced Veterans benefits attorneys can assist you in applying for this program so you’re able to afford the care you need to remain as independent as possible while still protecting the assets you’ve worked hard to accumulate. 

What the Aid and Attendance Benefit Can Be Used For

The Aid and Attendance Pension Program is a monetary “add-on” to supplement the basic Veterans or survivors pension. The amount of this benefit can be substantial.

  • A Veteran who does not have a spouse or dependent child can receive $26,748 per year or $2,229 per month.
  • A married Veteran can receive $31,704 per year or $2,642 per month.
  • A surviving spouse can receive $17,184 per year or $1,432 per month.

The Aid and Attendance benefit can be used in several different ways:

  • Family caregiving costs. The benefit can be used to pay siblings, relatives, and children for providing in-home care.
  • Professional home care. The benefit can be used to pay for a home nurse or health aide to provide necessary medical care within the home.
  • Assisted living. Recipients who require minimal medical assistance yet are unable to remain at home can use their benefits to pay for a stay in an assisted living facility.
  • Nursing home care. Recipients in poor health who require 24/7 long-term care can use their benefits to pay nursing home costs.

Eligibility for Aid and Attendance Benefits

Aid and Attendance benefits are only for those who have trouble performing tasks independently and need care assistance due to a physical or cognitive impairment. At least one of the following must be true if you wish to receive this benefit:

  • You are a resident of a nursing home.
  • You need another person to help you perform daily activities, such as bathing, feeding, and dressing.
  • You are confined to your bed due to illness or disability.
  • Your eyesight is limited to 5/200 or less in both eyes or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.

Service Requirements

The qualifying Veteran must have received a discharge other than dishonorable and served 90 days or more of active duty. At least one of these days must have been served during a period of wartime. Eligible wartime periods include:

  • World War II: December 7, 1941 - December 31, 1946
  • Korean Conflict: June 27, 1950 - January 31, 1955
  • Vietnam Era: February 28, 1961 - May 7, 1975
  • Gulf War: August 2, 1990 - currently undetermined

Income and Asset Requirements

A qualifying Veteran must have a net worth of less than $150,000 to receive Aid and Attendance benefits. Net worth does not include a person’s primary home or vehicle but does include checking accounts, savings accounts, mutual funds, stocks, retirement accounts, and vacation homes. Applicants cannot have an annual income greater than the maximum annual VA pension benefit amount they are eligible to receive, but unreimbursed medical expenses are not considered part of this calculation.

How an Attorney Can Help

To apply for Aid and Attendance benefits, you’ll need to submit a number of documents:

  • Completed VA Form 21-2680 (Examination for Housebound Status or Permanent Need for Regular Aid and Attendance) 
  • Request for Nursing Home Information in Connection with Claim for Aid and Attendance (VA Form 21-0779), if you’re currently in a nursing home
  • DD-214 Military Discharge papers
  • Current Social Security award letter
  • Documentation of assets and income
  • Documentation of insurance premiums and unreimbursed medical expenses

In most cases, Veterans in need of Aid and Attendance benefits struggle to meet the program’s income and asset requirements. However, we can often restructure your estate in such a way that you are able to pass the asset and income test and become eligible for Aid and Attendance. 

Request a Consultation Today

Attorney Glenn Matecun is accredited by the Veterans Administration and has helped numerous Veterans qualify for the Aid and Attendance Pension Program. Contact us today to schedule a free strategy session to discuss how we can help you qualify for the support you need to cover your long-term care costs. Consultations are available at our Howell or Clinton Township offices or anywhere in Michigan virtually.