Do You Qualify For Veterans Aid And Attendance?
VA Pension Benefits To Help Pay For Long-Term Care
Every family struggles to pay for nursing home care. Did you know that men and women who served their country may be eligible for special VA benefits to help offset those medical costs?
The Veterans Aid and Attendance program provides benefits to veterans and widows of veterans who are receiving nursing home care or who are homebound and require medical care. Many vets are eligible for more than $2,000 a month in assistance.
Wolf Elder Law is proud to serve war veterans and their families in the Tampa Bay area and throughout central Florida. We assist with the complex paperwork and bureaucratic “hoops” to qualify for these much-needed benefits.
Who Can Get Aid And Attendance Benefits?
Aid and Attendance is a little-known pension benefit administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This “improved pension” helps pay for medical care and living expenses for military vets or their surviving spouses who are in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or who are housebound by a disabling condition and receive in-home health care.
To be eligible, all of the following must apply:
- The veteran is aged 65 or older.
- The veteran served at least 90 consecutive days on active duty.
- The veteran served at least one day of active duty during a war period (WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War or the Gulf War).
- The veteran was not dishonorably discharged.
- The veteran or widow requires assistance with daily living.
- The widow did not divorce the vet or remarry.
The medical condition requiring long-term care or in-home care does not have to be service-related. (There are separate VA disability benefits for that.)
How Much Is The Aid And Attendance (A&A) Benefit?
The 2020 rates for Veterans Aid and Attendance are:
Single veteran – $1,911 per month ($22,939 per year)
Married veteran – $2,266 per month ($27,195 per year)
Widow/widower – $1,228 per month ($14,742 per year)
Aid and Attendance is over and above the Basic Pension amount. The Housebound Allowance is somewhat lower than A&A benefits. VA benefits are tax-free.
If This Is A Government Benefit, Do I Really Need A Lawyer?
Sadly, yes. The eligibility criteria relating to income limits and exempt assets are very technical and confusing. It is highly difficult to qualify without legal help. Wolf Elder Law has represented many vets and surviving spouses who were previously turned down for Aid and Attendance when they applied on their own.
If you meet the basic criteria, we work with the VA to demonstrate your care needs, verify your financial eligibility, properly fill out the forms and get you approved. We can also represent you in VA appeals.
It is possible to receive both Medicaid and VA assistance for long-term care. However, preserving assets to qualify for one could adversely impact the other. This is another reason to work with an experienced attorney who can help you qualify for Aid and Assistance without jeopardizing your current or future Medicaid eligibility.
VA Accredited • Florida Board-Certified
Amanda M. Wolf is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and certified as an elder law specialist by the Florida Bar Association’s Board of Legal Specialization and Education. She has devoted her law practice to Medicaid planning, asset structuring, estate plans and other facets of elder law, including successful advocacy for military veterans. She is also accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs to assist claimants in pursuing VA benefits.
Always Happy To Help Our Great Veterans
Assisting with VA benefits is one small way to thank you for your service. We invite you to a no-obligation consultation at our office in Tampa or Sun City Center (including phone or video consults) to learn more about Aid and Assistance and our related legal services for seniors. Just call our firm at 813-350-7991 or send us an email.