Veterans Benefits are perhaps the most misunderstood and underutilized resources available to millions of veterans and their families. While it is commonly known that certain benefits are available for the brave men and women who served in our armed forces, many veterans and their families are unaware that they could be eligible for an even wider range of benefits through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), even if they did not directly retire from the military or suffer injuries in the line of duty.
VETERAN’S ADMINISTRATION BENEFIT FOR AID AND ATTENDANCE
One frequently-overlooked benefit that applies to many of our veterans and their spouses is the Aid and Attendance benefit offered by the Veterans Administration. The A&A program provides cash payments to veterans who served during a period of war or to their single surviving widow(er)s to help cover the costs of home care, assisted living and nursing home services.
The Veterans’ Administration (VA) provides a monthly pension for qualified wartime veterans or their surviving spouse who are unable to work due to either a non-service connected disability or age. The Aid and Attendance benefit is part of this pension program. In order to be eligible for the pension, the veteran or veteran’s spouse must
meet basic eligibility, disability, and financial need tests.
The most complex of these qualifications is the financial needs test. The primary threshold for a claimant to pass the financial need test is to show that he or she has income that is less than the Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR). Countable income includes income received by the veteran and spouse, from most sources. It includes earnings, disability and retirement payments, interest and dividends, and net income from farming or business.
Understanding and putting together the requirements for an application for Pension and Aid and Attendance Benefits is a complex process. This is why we recommend seeking the assistance of an elder law attorney to put together a VA eligibility plan and to deal with any necessary interactions as an intermediary. Our attorneys are VA-Certified, meaning they have special training and approval from the US Department of Veterans Affairs to represent clients.