Veterans Administration: Aid and Attendance Benefits
Many senior veterans or their surviving spouses struggle to pay for expensive care as they age. They find that in-home caregivers, assisted living communities, or other care facilities are simply unaffordable, and the cost far exceeds their income. Life savings can be quickly depleted. Insurance does not pay for long-term care or in-home caregiving assistance. Unfortunately, many senior Veterans or their surviving spouses are unaware of an important benefit available through the Department of Veterans Affairs, referred to as Non-Service Connected Pension with Aid and Attendance.
This financial benefit is available to Veterans or their surviving spouses who meet the strict eligibility requirements. The eligibility requirements include recognized military service for a minimum of 90 days, one day of which was during wartime; meeting the discharge requirements; unreimbursed medical expenses exceeding income; limited assets such as cash and investments; and life expectancy according to the VA criteria.
Some key things to know about the Non-Service Connected Pension with Aid and Attendance:
It is a VA monthly monetary tax-free benefit, and there is no requirement to have a service-related injury or disability.
Spouses may also be eligible, even if the veteran has passed away.
Certain medical (as confirmed by a doctor) and financial requirements must be met.
Aid and Attendance can help pay for in-home caregivers (even if an adult child is providing the care), or care in a facility such as nursing home or assisted living communities.
The Application Process
The application process for this important benefit is complex, detailed, and involves properly completing many VA papers with appropriate supporting documentation.
Many people find the system difficult to understand and to navigate. There is a lack of reliable information. The documents can be very confusing. Accordingly, many seniors seek assistance from a VA Accredited Attorney so they may ensure the qualification requirements are met, the application process is completed and submitted properly, and the applicant has representation before the Veterans Administration.
Jane McNamara is an accredited attorney with the Veterans Administration. Along with her dedicated team of professionals, she assists Veterans and their spouses with the process, from start to finish.
The Aid and Attendance Benefit — How Much Could You Receive?
The cost of assisted living, nursing home or home health care is substantial. Assisted Living facilities often exceed $8,500.00 per month, and appropriate in-home care often exceeds $10,000.00 per month. VA Aid and Attendance Benefits could help with these costs by providing a monthly cash tax-free benefit for qualified veterans and their surviving spouses. The benefit often means the difference between affording needed care, and running out of money due to high care costs.
The 2019 Maximum Benefits:
Maximum Monthly Benefit for Surviving Spouse: $1,209
Maximum Monthly Benefit for Single Veteran: $1,881
Maximum Monthly Benefit for Married Veteran: $2,230
Maximum Monthly Benefit for Married Veteran Couple: $2,984
How Can I Qualify for Aid and Attendance Benefits?
During the consultation process with our Law Firm, our VA Accredited Attorney evaluates the numerous issues and requirements involved VA benefit eligibility. The VA rules experienced a complete overhaul effective October 18, 2018, so it is CRITICAL to consult with an advisor who is Accredited with the VA, and up to date on all the important and sweeping changes. The senior is asked to bring financial information to the consultation, so a proper legal analysis may be made. Eligibility and qualification is discussed at the meeting. Each situation is different, and there is no “one size fits all” analysis. Additionally, it is critical that the applicant always consider the potential future need for Medi-Cal skilled nursing benefits, as actions taken for VA qualification may affect future Med-Cal eligibility. Accordingly, getting proper legal guidance is absolutely essential in this complex area to avoid very costly mistakes.