“I am a veteran. How can the VA help me?” This is a popular question we receive daily. As veterans age their need for care often increases. Among their concerns, many think they must have been wounded or disabled while serving to receive help from the VA or they must be served at a VA hospital or facility.
Often, veterans and their families aren’t aware of a special monthly pension called VA Aid and Attendance. This often-unknown “hidden veterans” benefit can make the difference between getting needed care or not.
Who may receive this benefit?
VA Aid and Attendance is available to both veterans and surviving spouses who are over the age of 65 or permanently disabled. The veteran must have served on active duty for 90 days during a wartime period. Find more qualifying information here.
How much can a veteran or spouse receive?
A single veteran can receive up to $2,051 a month towards the cost of care. A married veteran is eligible for $2,431.00 per month, and surviving spouses of wartime veterans can receive up to $1,318.00 per month. These funds may allow a veteran and/or spouse to remain at home longer as well as preserve the remainder of their assets for the future.
How does the VA look at care and income?
It is important to note the veteran or spouse must be spending money on care to receive this benefit. One must need assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring or require the need for a protective environment. The VA uses care costs, income, and unreimbursed medical expenses to determine the monthly benefit amount granted. You may find examples of qualifying unreimbursed medical expenses here.
Applicants must show a financial need for VA Aid and Attendance. It is a smart idea to have your situation reviewed by an elder law attorney who has experience with VA benefits.
Are there asset limitations for this benefit?
Recipients of VA Aid and Attendance must have assets below $138,489. However, there are some assets that are considered exempt and do not count towards this limit. An applicant may think they can easily transfer their excess assets so they may qualify for the benefit. You may NOT transfer for this purpose. Once again, this is a good time to consult an elder law attorney.
I am over the asset limit and/or I don’t need care now is there anything I can do?
YES! There are options available to protect your assets and find ways to help you qualify for this benefit.
Call Hurley Elder Care Law at 404-843-0121 to learn more about this important benefit. The earlier you plan, the more options you will have. We thank you for your service!
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