Veteran’s Aid and Attendance
by Tara Williamson
On Veteran’s Day, we as a nation pause for a moment to say thanks to all those who have served in the Armed Forces and sacrificed for this great country. While we could do so much more, there are a number of programs out there to benefit you as a small token of our gratitude.
Did you know that being a Veteran entitles you and your spouse, or a surviving spouse, to certain benefits that help offset the cost of Assisted Living? This often overlooked financial program may make the difference for how well you can live your life. It’s called the Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Benefit.
This post will explain the basics, but for more information you can go directly to the VA website at http://www.veteranaid.org/.
What is the “Aid and Attendance” benefit?
A veteran or a veteran’s spouse or a veteran’s surviving spouse with low income who has been determined by the Veteran’s Administration (VA) to need the aid and assistance of another individual may be eligible for monetary support through the VA’s “ Veteran’s Aid and Attendance” program.
Who is eligible for this benefit?
To be eligible for the Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefit, the veteran:
Must have served 90 days or more of active military service, one day of which was during a period of war. Periods of war are defined as follows:
WWI – Apr. 6, 1917 to Nov. 11, 1918
WWII – Dec. 7, 1941 to Dec. 31, 1946
Korean Conflict – Aug. 27, 1950 to Jan 31, 1955
Vietnam Conflict – Aug. 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975
Persian Gulf War – Aug. 2, 1990 to date yet to be determined
Must have been determined by the VA to be in medical need of the regular aid and attendance of another person. Nearly all individuals who currently reside in a personal care/assisted living residence or nursing home meet the VA’s criteria for medical necessity.
Must have been determined to be of low income and therefore in financial need of the benefit. The financial requirements typically include possessing no more than $80,000 is assets. A person’s home and car are not included in the calculation until they are sold. Income limits also apply, dependent upon personal expenses. When calculating your annual income total, rent in an assisted living/person care home, as well as health insurance/Medicare premiums, may be deducted from the annual income total. For example:
$48000 current annual income – $24000 monthly assisted living home rent – $12000 medical premiums = $12000 adjusted annual income
This benefit can be used to help pay for care for the Veteran or a Surviving Spouse in the home, Skilled Nursing, or Assisted Living/Personal Care facility.
What amount of compensation could I expect?
Compensation amounts vary and are dependent upon each applicant’s asset and income level. The benefit can provide up to $1,788 per month for a veteran or $1,149 for a veteran’s surviving spouse or $2,120 for both the veteran and their spouse.
How do I apply?
An application must be obtained and sent to the VA for approval. Applications can be obtained from a Juniper Village staff member or by accessing the Veteran’s Administration website at va.org. Juniper Village staff members can assist you with completing this application process or direct you to services available to help with the application process. Notification for approval may take 6-9 months, but once approved, the monthly income will be retroactive from the date the application was submitted.
Learn more from Juniper Communities about Making Care Affordable.