Millions of veterans who need long-term care are missing out on the benefits they’ve earned simply because they don’t know about them. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a veterans Aid & Attendance pension benefit program pays for senior care, but the program has such a low profile that often even children of career military parents don’t always know it exists.
Knowing about Aid & Attendance is the first step. As many as 25% of all U.S. seniors are veterans (and their surviving spouses) who might qualify for Aid & Attendance, but fewer than 500,000 veterans were actually receiving Aid & Attendance at the end of 2017. Are your parents missing out?
Navigating the Aid & Attendance Application Process
The next step is deciding whether or not to apply to the program. Here are some things you should know before applying:
- Total number of wartime veterans in the US as of September 2018: 15,180,741
- Average age of a US veteran: 64 years old
- Estimated number of seniors in the US who could be eligible for Aid & Attendance: 1 in 4 seniors
- Estimated number of eligible seniors in the US who have claimed their Aid & Attendance benefits: 1 in 7 seniors
- Average time is takes to be approved for Aid & Attendance: 9 months
- Amount of money that can be awarded from Aid & Attendance:
- Up to $1,830 per month (Aid & Attendance + basic pension for a single veteran)
- Up to $2,170 per month (Aid & Attendance + basic pension for a veteran and spouse)
The application process requires many forms to fill out, as well as a long list of required documents to submit, including:
- A certified copy of a veteran’s marriage certificate
- A letter from a veteran’s doctor explaining the type of daily care he or she needs
- A veteran’s original discharge papers
- Proof of all of a veteran’s assets and income
Do you think you or someone you know might qualify for the Aid & Attendance program? The application process can be complicated, but we can help you navigate the application process. Contact us to speak with a Client Care Liaison directly.
What the Aid & Attendance Benefit for Veterans Provides
A qualified veteran or their surviving spouse who is 65 or older can get Aid & Attendance to help pay for long term care in a facility or at home. Recipients can also use their benefit to pay an adult child who’s acting as their caregiver, but not a caregiving spouse.
Eligibility factors include:
- A medically documented need for daily help
- A monthly income and assets below the limits set by the VA
- An honorable discharge
- Service during wartime
It is important to note that the VA also pays retroactive benefits once approved. When the VA approves you or your parent’s application, they will send a lump sum that covers the time from the day you filed the application until the day it was approved. Then you or your parent parent receives their monthly payments going forward.
Resources to Apply for Veterans Aid & Attendance
We can help you learn more about the veterans Aid & Attendance benefit and to help you apply. Contact us directly and ask to speak to a Client Care Liaison about veterans benefits!
Other helpful resources include:
- The American Legion
- The Veterans Benefits Administration
- The Veterans of Foreign Wars
- VA-accredited claims specialists and attorneys (be sure to check the Better Business Bureau, references and reviews before you sign any financial agreement)
- Your state’s Department of Veterans Affairs
This Veterans Day, take a few minutes to see if your parents may be eligible for Aid & Attendance and how you can help them claim a benefit they’ve earned.