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Veterans Benefits

Aid & Attendance Pension Benefit for Wartime Veterans

Are you missing out on up to $25,525.00 per year that you are entitled to as a US war veteran?

For wartime veterans and their spouses, a little known benefit from the VA exists to help cover costs associated with the long-term care.

This benefit, the “VA’s best kept secret,” is called Improved Pension, but is often referred to as “Aid and Attendance.” The purpose of the benefit is to financially assist veterans who need help with performing functions of everyday living including, bathing, feeding, dressing, toileting, etc.

This most important benefit is overlooked by many families with Veterans or surviving spouses who need additional monies to help care for ailing parents or loved ones. Why? Simply because they don’t know about it and the VA is NOT required to tell veterans, dependents or widows that they qualify for benefits.

This “Pension Benefit” is income tax free and IS NOT dependent upon service-related injuries for compensation. Aid and Attendance can help pay for care in the home, Nursing Home or Assisted Living facility. 

For many veterans, the Aid and Attendance benefit provides the income necessary to receive care right at home. Veterans can also use this money to pay a loved-one who may have been forced to cutback or leave work to provide the veteran the care he or she needs.

MAXIMUM A&A PENSION AMOUNTS

For qualified veterans, the following benefits may be available to cover costs associated with long-term care:

Status Benefit Annual Benefit Monthly
 
Unmarried Veteran
Aid & Attendance $21,531 $1,794
Housebound $15,773 $1,314
Basic $12,907 $1,075
 
Married Veteran
(or w/1 Dependent)
Aid & Attendance $25,525 $2,127
Housebound $19,770 $1,647
Basic $16,902 $1,408
 
Surviving Spouse
Aid & Attendance $13,836 $1,153
Housebound $10,580 $881
Basic $8,656 $721
 
Surviving Spouse
(w/1 Dependent)
Aid & Attendance $16,506 $1,375
Housebound $13,249 $1,104
Basic $11,330 $944
 
Veteran Married to Veteran
Both Aid & Attendance $34,153 $2,846
1 Aid & Attendance / 1 Housebound $28,385 $2,365
1 Aid & Attendance $25,525 $2,127
Both Housebound $22,634 $1,886
1 Housebound $19,770 $1,647
1 or Both Basic $16,902 $1,408
     
Increase Per Additional
Dependent Child
$2,205 $183

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for the Aid and Assistance Pension Benefit, the veteran/ spouse must meet the following guidelines:

  • Must be permanently and totally disabled, or 65 or older
  • The veteran must be honorably discharged
  • The veteran must have served at least 90 consecutive days, with at least one (1) day during a period of war. The official dates of war are as follows:
    • Mexican Border: May 9, 1916 to April 5, 1917
    • World War I: April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918 April 1, 1920 if served in Russia
    • World War II: December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946
    • Korean War: June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955
    • Vietnam War: August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975 or February 28, 1961 if served in Vietnam
    • Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990 to [date not yet determined]

Financial Qualifications

Financial eligibility for the Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit will depend on the veteran’s total assets and current income.

When determining your financial eligibility for the Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit, it’s always best to sit down and talk with a skilled elder law attorney first.

There are a number of deductions that can be made (including unreimbursed medical expenses) that may increase eligibility.

Assets can also be placed into a trust to ensure they are preserved for the veteran, while still allowing him or her to qualify for this tax-free monthly income. An elder attorney can also help the veteran “gift” assets to loved ones without jeopardizing his or her ability to qualify for VA benefits or Medi-Cal (Medicaid) in the future.

Having “too many assets” or “too much income” should not deter the veteran or his or her loved ones from pursing the Aid & Attendance Pension Benefit. The reality is that millions of seniors become impoverished each year due to the cost of nursing home or long-term care. In many cases, it’s far more cost-effective for the senior to place assets in a trust in order to collect this steady benefit on a long-term basis, than to do nothing and wait for the veteran’s savings to run dry.

Do I need an attorney to apply for VA Benefits?

It’s a good idea to consult with a California estate planning and elder law attorney before applying for VA Benefits.

The reason is simple—each mistake or missing piece of information will automatically delay your application for 2 months. You may not even realize that what you provided was incomplete, but you will be penalized nonetheless.

It’s not unheard of for a simple Aid and Attendance claim take up to 2 years to process thanks to constant rejections from the VA. Working with an attorney can ensure your application is properly completed and that your claim is expedited.

An attorney will also assist the veteran in the area of financial eligibility to ensure his or her assets stay protected, while still legally reducing income and net-worth in order to qualify.

Finally, working with an elder law attorney who understands and is well versed in all government benefit programs will ensure that the process of qualifying for VA pension benefits will not negatively impact eligibility and qualification for Medi-Cal long-term care benefits.

How to Get Help

If you are a California resident and believe you are entitled to benefits from the VA, please give our Fair Oaks estate planning and elder law firm a call at (916) 241-9661 to schedule a complimentary planning session. You can also contact us via email by filling out the contact form located here.

The Chubb Law Firm is proud to serve California Veterans who have sacrificed their lives to serve the citizens of the Untied States. To find out what other’s have to say about working with Heather, please read the testimonials from area resident here or click here to see Heather’s recent news appearances.

VA’s Aid and Attendance Benefit

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Young Adult or Parent of Minor Children
In the Prime of Life
Concerned About the Impact of Long-Term Care
Handling A Loved One’s Estate
The Chubb Law Firm
1833 Iron Point Road, Suite 120
Folsom, CA 95630
Phone: 916.241.9661
Fax: 916.294.7275
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