As per the 2015-2019 American Community Survey, around 18.2 million veterans aged 65 and older live in America. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers several programs that provide veterans with healthcare coverage and medical services, one of which is the Aid & Attendance benefit.
The Veterans Aid & Attendance (A&A) Benefit provides veterans and surviving spouses with monetary assistance to cover long-term care costs—whether it is assisted living, memory care, nursing home, or in-home care services. In fact, as of 2021, a married veteran is eligible for up to $29,175 in Aid & Attendance benefits. If two veterans are married to each other, and they both qualify for A&A, they may receive up to $39,036 in aid.
Unfortunately, not many people are aware of these benefits, and those that are, fail to apply because they think they may not qualify. Here is everything you need to know about the VA Aid & Attendance Benefit program to clear any misconceptions you may have and help you and your family get the care and assistance you need.
Are You Eligible for VA Aid & Attendance?
To qualify for the A&A, you must meet one of these conditions:
- You require help from another person to perform daily activities like bathing, eating, or dressing.
- You are bedridden or spend a large portion of your day in bed due to an illness.
- You are a patient in a nursing home because of the loss of mental or physical abilities.
- Your eyesight is limited to 5/200 or less in both eyes with glasses or contact lenses.
- Concentric contraction of the visual field is limited to 5 degrees or less.
You must have served at least 90 days of active military, naval, or air service—at least one day of active duty must have taken place during a recognized period of war and have received an honorable discharge.
As of November 30, 2021, the veteran’s net worth, including their annual income and assets, must be less than $130,773 to qualify for A&A. Your residence is excluded from this calculation.
Additionally, keep in mind that the VA established a 3-year look-back policy to review the terms and conditions of any assets you may have transferred in the three years before filing the claim. You could be subjected to a penalty period if you’ve moved your assets for less than their market value in an attempt to qualify for assistance.
At the time of application, the veteran must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Should Be At Least 65 Years of Age
- Non-Service Related Permanent and Total Disability
- Live in a Nursing Home
- Receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
How to Apply for the A&A Benefit?
The first step to applying for the A&A benefit is to locate your discharge papers. Then you need to fill out the VA Form 21-2680 and mail it to the Pension Management Center of your state. You will also need to submit proof of income and a doctor’s report to show you require A&A care.
If the veteran is currently in a nursing home, they will need to fill out the VA Form 21-0779—Request for Nursing Home Information in Connection with Claim for Aid and Attendance.
Though many veterans qualify for Aid & Assistance programs, they are often intimidated by the filing process. If you or your loved ones need help applying for A&A benefits, reach out to Oasis Senior Advisors. Their team has the knowledge and expertise needed to help you navigate funding options. Get in touch by calling 475.619.4123 or 914.356.1901 or fill out their online form.