VA Aid and Attendance
If you’re a veteran who hasn’t heard of the Aid and Attendance and Housebound Improved Pension benefit (the “A&A”), you’re not alone. A&A is a lesser known veteran benefit which can cover the costs of caregivers in the home (including sons and daughters but not spouses) or be used for assisted living or a nursing home.
Despite it being relatively unknown, it’s not for a lack of significance….at a maximum, A&A can cover $2,019.00 monthly for a veteran and spouse and up to $1,904.00 for the widow of a veteran.
So why don’t more people receive this benefit?
“It’s probably one of the lesser known benefits,” said Randal Noller, a VA spokesman in Washington. Only 2% of surviving WWII veterans, as of 2011, were utilizing the benefit. Mr. Noller said the VA’s size might be a reason for the A&A’s low visibility. “The VA is the second-largest agency in the federal government, and you can’t expect everyone to know everything.”
Be it as it may, more veterans need to know about the benefit, and websites like VeteranAid.org are helping. The site contains information about the A&A benefit, all the forms needed and instructions on how to apply.
As a general rule, to qualify a veteran needs:
- To have clocked one day of his/her 90-day minimum military service during a time of war and be in need of caregiving for daily living.
- Have maximum assets worth less than $80,000 (car and home excluded) although someone with higher assets could still qualify if medical expenses were very high.
- Have a maximum income of around $20,000 to $23,000 after deducting costs for medical expenses, caregivers, assisted living or nursing home fees.
It is also important to remember that despite language within the A&A, a wartime veteran automatically becomes ‘totally disabled’ once they reach the age of 65. At that point, if the veteran were to meet the asset and income requirements, they could be eligible for the A&A.
To learn more or see the original article, please visit: http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/few-know-of-benefit-to-help-aging-veterans/