Did you know that the most commonly overlooked senior benefits are those earned by veterans and their spouses? As you struggle to figure out how you are going to pay for the care you need as you age, don’t miss out on the benefits you earned through your time serving in the U.S. military. While some VA Benefits are only available to military retirees or those with service-connected disabilities, there are other benefits intended to help all wartime veterans and their spouses. Learn more about these benefits and contact our experienced Veteran’s Benefits attorneys to find out if you might be eligible.
What Are Aid & Attendance Benefits?
This VA program is intended to support veterans and their spouses who are over the age of 65, blind or disabled, or need someone else’s help with the tasks of daily living. A senior may be considered eligible for Aid & Attendance if he is unable to manage several of the following daily tasks on his own:
- Take care of personal hygiene, such as bathing, grooming, and oral care
- Make appropriate clothing decisions and physically dress and undress himself
- Get in and out of bed and walk independently from one location to another
- Plan and prepare meals, including cooking, cleaning up, and using kitchen appliances and utensils safely
- Take the correct dosage of prescribed medications at the appropriate times and manage refills
- Manage personal finances including budgeting, paying bills, and avoiding scams
When a senior is unable to manage these tasks of daily living, it may be time to consider assisted living or a nursing home. However, many seniors don’t have to resources to pay for this kind of care. Aid & Attendance benefits can go a long way towards paying for the care the veteran needs.
How Does a Veteran Qualify for Aid & Attendance?
Along with being over 65 and unable to care for oneself, a veteran must meet several additional requirements. While a VA-certified Elder Law Attorney will be able to tell you more definitively if you should be eligible for these benefits, the following is a summary of the requirements for Aid & Attendance:
- Military service. The veteran must have served on active duty for at least 90 days, at least one of which must have been during an official period of war. These periods include World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam era, and the Gulf War. It is not necessary that the veteran served in combat.
- Discharge. The veteran must have received an honorable discharge, other-than-honorable discharge, a general discharge, or a medical discharge.
- Income requirements. These benefits are intended for veterans with a low monthly income and an average net worth. However, these determinations depend on many complicated factors, including your age at the time of disability and your additional unreimbursed medical expenditures. Typically, the VA does not count the value of a home in its determination of net worth. With a thorough understanding of the rules and the guidance of an experienced advisor, many people can meet this section of the eligibility test.
- Spouse of a veteran. The surviving spouse of a wartime veteran is also entitled to the Aid & Attendance benefit if he or she was married to the veteran for at least one year, married to the veteran at the time of the veteran’s death, and has not since remarried.
This is a simplified version of the qualifications you must meet to get Aid & Attendance benefits as a veteran. When you work with Ross & Shoalmire, P.L.L.C. you will not have to worry about the details—we will take care of that for you!
If You Are a Wartime Veteran, Talk to Us About VA Benefits
Planning related to obtaining VA Benefits is very complicated. Not only must you meet the VA’s eligibility rules exactly, but additional planning will be necessary for a person to protect themselves, their life savings, and their dignity.
Our Elder Law Attorneys are also accredited by the VA, a requirement for assisting with VA planning. Our team has the knowledge and experience to help you qualify for the VA Benefits you have earned to get the care you need. Contact us by filling out the form on this page today.