VA Aid and Attendance Benefits
A veteran or their surviving spouse can be eligible for certain benefits through the Veteran’s Administration (VA) Aid & Attendance pension.
The benefits are designed to supplement the costs of care for veterans and their spouses. For 2012, the monthly benefit for a veteran with no dependents is $1,703 per month. For a veteran with dependents, the monthly benefit is $2,022 per month and the benefit for a surviving spouse is $1,094 per month.
There are several requirements to qualify.
Military Service Requirements
The veteran must have served at least 90 days of active duty, one (1) day of which was during a war-time period.
The veteran must have received a discharge other than dishonorable from the service.
The veteran must be able to show that they are in need of the “aid and attendance” of another person with respect to activities of daily living (ADLs), including bathing, feeding and so forth.
The veteran or the surviving spouse must have limited assets. A house, car and personal items are exempt and not included as assets and unlike Medicaid, there is no “look back period” for transfers, which means that with some planning, an applicant with too many assets can become qualified.
The veteran or the surviving spouse must also have limited income. The monthly income cannot exceed the cost of care. This is ordinarily not a problem for most applicants, especially applicants who will be or are currently paying out of pocket for assisted living.