Veterans Aid and Attendance can be a daunting subject. We try to answer your most frequently asked questions here.
Q: What is the benefit called that helps veterans pay for assisted living?
A: It is called Aid & Attendance Benefit.
Q: What is Aid and Attendance?
A: Aid and Attendance is a veterans pension benefit to help offset the cost of assisted living facilities. It is a pension benefit that qualifying veterans who served at least one day during war time can receive to relieve some of the financial burden of long term care costs for aging veterans and their spouses.
Q: My dad was in WWII. Can my mom get financial help from the government?
A: Absolutely! The Aid & Attendance benefit was created to help the spouses of war veterans, too.
Q: What does my dad have to do to qualify for the benefit?
A: The easiest way to handle it is to have us to take you through the steps one at a time and in the proper order. Essentially to qualify for Aid and Attendance, your dad has to have served during a time of war; has to have a physical need for assistance; has to have a financial need, as medical expenses outweigh income; and has to meet the requirements for assets, which are complicated and differ for every situation. The VA has a very specific way that the claim must be filed in order to get approval. War Veterans Association was created with the vision to help people with this process, we are happy to help you file the paperwork.
Q: My mom lives at home. Can I still get the VA benefit for her?
A: You sure can! You can use the Aid and Attendance benefits anywhere as long as her healthcare costs exceed her income.
Q: Is the benefit income based?
A: Yes and no. There is no limit to what your income can be, but your monthly cost for healthcare must be greater.
Q: Does it apply for reservists?
A: Yes, if they were activated and served more than 90 days of active duty, with at least one of those days being during a time of war.
Q: How long do we have to wait before we get the benefit?
A: Two to four months with a fully developed claim.
Q: Who pays the assisted living facility? Does it automatically go to them?
A: The benefit goes directly to the veteran (or spouse) unless that person has been deemed mentally incompetent, as with dementia. In that case, the money goes directly to either an established fiduciary or the facility.
Q: Does it come out of my taxes?
A: Yes, your taxes help pay for the benefit. It comes out of the general operating fund.
Q: Does Aid and Attendance count as income on my taxes?
A: No. Aid & Attendance is tax-free for life.
Q: Will it pay for the whole assisted living bill?
A: Probably not. Aid & Attendance is a fixed amount. It can be as much as $2,085 per month. So obviously it depends on the cost of the assisted living facility.
Q: Can it be used with long term health insurance at the same time?
A: Yes, but long-term care is counted as income. If the combined income is greater than healthcare costs, that will affect eligibility for the benefit.
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