Veterans served their country well, now it is time for us to give back. Many wartime veterans need help, but don’t take advantage of all the benefits available to them. For example, Tom G.’s Army service include several tours in Vietnam. Now age 75, Tom’s eyesight is poor, and his physical condition has deteriorated. His family noticed signs that Tom was struggling. They decided to see if Aid & Attendance would help Tom.
What is Aid & Attendance?
This benefit offers assistance to eligible wartime veterans who need assistance with daily activities. Aid & Attendance is a monthly payment over and above the monthly pension the veteran may be receiving.
Housebound is a similar benefit but cannot be combined with Aid & Attendance benefits.
Who qualifies for Aid & Attendance benefits?
Wartime veterans who are eligible to receive a pension may also receive Aid & Attendance. However, they must meet the following requirements:
- Another person must help with daily activities such as “bathing, feeding, dressing, attending the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment.”
- A disability or disabilities require the veteran to remain in bed. However, bed rest prescribed for treatment or convalescence may not be covered by Aid & Attendance.
- Due to a mental or physical incapacity, the veteran is a patient in a nursing home.
- The veteran’s eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 or less in both eyes or to a concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.
When a veteran is faced with these difficulties, it may be time to apply for Aid & Attendance benefits. For example, Tom may qualify for Aid & Attendance because he is a wartime veteran who receives a pension and needs help with daily activities.
How can I apply for Aid & Attendance benefits?
As with many government programs, the application process can be difficult. You can apply by contacting your state Pension Management Center or by visiting a regional benefit office. The most important thing to remember is that you need to get your application right the first time you submit it.
We Can Help.
You and your family don’t need to go through the application process alone. We assist clients with Aid & Attendance, as well as Medicaid, estate planning, and probate.
Schedule a consultation with one of the attorneys at Miller Estate and Elder Law. Our phone number is 256-472-1900. Miller Estate and Elder Law is now located at 818 Leighton Avenue in Anniston, but we serve clients in communities like Hoover, Vestavia Hills, Irondale, and Calera.
Sometimes help is available. We just don’t know where it is or how to access it. Many veterans may not have heard of Aid & Attendance benefits, even though they desperately need those benefits. We can help you find out if you are eligible for Aid & Attendance benefits.
Aid & Attendance: Help for Veterans
This benefit, which is available to veterans and their survivors, is designed to help people who need “aid and attendance” with their daily activities. Aid & Attendance recipients receive an additional monthly benefit, over and above their pension.
Aid & Attendance recipients may not receive Housebound benefits, which are provided to veterans who cannot leave their homes because of a permanent disability.
For example, Josie noticed her father and mother were having more trouble taking care of themselves. Their clothes were unkempt, they had difficulty getting in and out of the bathtub. There was often no food in the refrigerator when Josie checked. Josie’s father received veteran’s benefits, including a monthly pension. Josie contacted the local VA office to see if help was available. She learned her father needed to meet certain requirements before receiving Aid & Attendance or Housebound benefits.
Aid & Attendance: Eligibility Guidelines
Veterans must meet at least one of the following requirements to be eligible for Aid & Attendance benefits:
- Veteran needs another person to help with daily activities such as “bathing, feeding, dressing, attending the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment.”
- Veteran’s disability or disabilities require the veteran to remain in bed. Bedrest prescribed for treatment or convalescence does not apply here.
- Veteran is a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity.
- Veteran’s eyesight is very limited.
Josie’s father had demonstrated an inability to take care of his daily living activities. He was not bedrest or a nursing home resident. His eyesight was failing. Josie’s father might be eligible for Aid & Attendance. First, he has to apply.
Applying for Aid & Attendance Benefits Is Complicated
The attorneys at Miller Estate and Elder Law help many clients apply for Aid & Attendance benefits, as well as other government benefits like Medicaid. For a free consultation, contact us at 256-251-2137 or use our convenient Contact Form. Although we’re located in Anniston and Birmingham, we also help clients in Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills, and surrounding areas.
The simple answer to the question is, “Yes, the spouse of a veteran may be eligible for VA benefits.” However, the Veterans Administration offers many programs for veterans. Spouses and dependents may be eligible for one program, but not another. All this can be confusing. In fact, people may not even know they are eligible and, so, do not bother applying. The Veterans Administration is a good source of information about program eligibility.
What benefits does the Veterans Administration offer veterans?
Most people think of medical benefits when they think about VA benefits. However, the VA offers other services, including home loan assistance, educational programs, life insurance, disability payments, pensions, assistance with vocational training and educational expenses.
Benefits Available to Spouses
Some benefits offered to servicemembers are also offered to spouses and, in some cases, dependents.
- Life Insurance under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance. Spouses may be automatically available for some benefits.
- Disability Compensation. Monthly benefits are provided to eligible surviving spouses and children.
- Employment Services. Career advice and training may be available.
- Certain VA Education Assistance Programs. Spouses and dependents may be eligible for educational assistance but should speak with a VA representative before enrolling.
- Health Care. Spouses may be eligible for some health benefits.
- Home Loans and Housing Assistance. Surviving spouses of veterans may be eligible for home loan guaranty programs through the VA.
- Memorial Benefits. Spouses, dependents, and survivors of veterans may ask for burial services.
- Pension. Veterans may be eligible to receive a pension. Surviving spouses and dependent children may receive monthly pension benefits. Net worth and income requirements must be met, however.
- Aid & Attendance. Veterans who are eligible for a monthly pension may also receive assistance if they are housebound or need someone to help with daily personal activities. A surviving spouse may be eligible for either Aid & Attendance or Housebound benefits.
Learn More About Your Options.
The attorneys at Miller Estate and Elder Law assist their clients understand the system better as they apply for VA benefits. For a free consultation, contact us at 256-251-2137 or use our convenient Contact Form. Although we’re located in Anniston, we also help clients in the Birmingham, Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills, and surrounding areas.
After serving this country, veterans should not have to struggle to get the care they need. No, the care they deserve. If you or a loved one is a disabled veteran, a little-known veteran’s benefit called Aid & Attendance benefits for veterans may defray the costs of expensive nursing care. However, as with any government process, applying for veterans’ benefits can be complex, time-consuming, and frustrating.
Aid & Attendance Benefits for Veterans Eligibility
To receive Aid & Attendance benefits, an applicant must be:
- A wartime veteran or the spouse of a wartime veteran;
- At least age 65 or permanently and totally disabled;
- Suffering from certain medical conditions;
- Within the financial requirements; and
- In need of assistance with at least two activities of daily living, be completely bedridden, have severely impaired vision, or be a resident of a nursing facility.
Eligible applicants must meet the following requirements:
- The veteran served at least 90 days of activity military duty, with at least one wartime day. He or she must not have received a dishonorable discharge.
- The veteran or spouse proves they need the attendance of another person to help with their daily living activities as defined by the Veterans Administration.
- Although asset and income limits have not been specified by the VA, the veteran or surviving spouse must prove financial need. The VA caseworker reviews the applicant’s financial data and makes a determination on eligibility.
Applications, Denials, and Appeals.
The application process is difficult, especially for someone already dealing with disabilities. An incorrect application may lead to denial of benefits. Applicants who are denied benefits cannot reapply for a year. While it is possible to appeal a denial, that process is even more complicated than applying. It’s best to use an experienced attorney every step of the way.
If you or a loved one served in the armed forces, check out all the benefits available to veterans. We assist veterans with applications for the Aid & Attendance Benefits for Veterans at no charge.
For a free consultation, contact us at 256-251-2137 or use our convenient Contact Form. We have offices in Anniston and Birmingham, but also assist clients in the Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills, and surrounding areas.
Sam and his family were proud of his U. S. military service record. He had served faithfully up until his honorable discharge. As he grew older, he became frail. Sam seemed to need more assistance every year, until he finally became housebound. His veteran’s benefits supported him somewhat, but he and his loved ones learned of another benefit he could get: Aid & Attendance. The money Sam received each month went a long way toward helping him get the assistance he needed.
An Additional Benefit for Veterans with Special Needs
Veterans who meet the following requirements may be eligible for Aid & Attendance:
- Require the assistance of another person to handle daily activities like bathing, feeding, dressing, and so on.
- May be bedridden due to a disability or disabilities.
- May be a patient in a nursing home because of a mental or physical incapacity.
- Has very limited eyesight that meets certain requirements.
Aid & Attendance benefits are paid in addition to the eligible veteran’s pension benefits.
Changes in 2018
Beginning on December 1, 2017, veterans received a cost of living increase. In fact, it was the highest increase since 2012.
Aid & Attendance monthly benefit amounts increased to:
$2,903 for two married veterans
$2,169 for a veteran with a spouse
$1,830 for a single veteran
$1,176 for the surviving spouse of a veteran
The increase is only about 2%. However, any increase is important for people struggling to make ends meet.
The Veterans Care Financial Protection Act is another change that’s important for veterans who receive Aid & Attendance benefits. This law is designed to stop scam artists from targeting veterans’ benefits through the Aid & Attendance program. For example, unscrupulous individuals would charge veterans for helping them apply for benefits, despite the fact there’s no fee for applying. Others would fraudulently take control over a veteran’s assets, rendering them unable to use the assets. Sometimes their eligibility for programs like Medicaid would be destroyed by the scam artists’ actions.
The Veteran’s Administration is required to post warnings about ongoing scams on their website. In addition, the VA was directed to research other ways to protect vulnerable veterans.
Are You or a Loved One Eligible for Aid & Attendance?
The attorneys at Miller Estate and Elder Law assist clients with applying for benefits like Aid & Attendance at no cost to you.
For a free consultation with an experienced Alabama attorney, contact us at 256-251-2137 or use our convenient Contact Form. We have offices in Anniston and Birmingham and serve clients in Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills, and surrounding areas.
To learn more:
Aid & Attendance Benefits for Veterans