By Debbie Gregory.
Long-term care costs can add up quickly. Veterans (and also for surviving spouses of deceased Veterans) who need in-home care, or are in a nursing home, may help available to them. The Veterans Administration (VA) has an underused pension benefit called Aid and Attendance. This benefit provides money for those who need assistance performing everyday tasks. Even Veterans whose income is above the legal limit for a VA pension may qualify for the benefit, if they have large medical expenses for which they do not receive reimbursement.
Aid and Attendance is a pension benefit, which means it is available to Veterans who served at least 90 days, with at least one day during wartime. The Veteran does not have to have service-related disabilities to qualify. Veterans or surviving spouses are eligible if they require the aid of another person to perform an everyday action, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, etc. This includes individuals who are bedridden, blind, or residing in a nursing home.
To be eligible for nursing home care, the Veteran must have a service-connected disability rating of at least 70 percent, or be rated 60 percent service-connected and be unemployable, or have an official rating of “permanently and totally disabled.” Non-service connected Veterans and those officially referred to as “zero percent, non-compensable, service-connected” Veterans who require nursing home care for any nonservice-connected disability, and who meet income and asset criteria, may also be eligible. If space and resources are available, other Veterans, on a case-by-case basis, may also be eligible.
A number of VA services exist to help Veterans of any age remain in their homes. These services include: adult day health care, home-based primary care, homemaker and home health aid care, hospice and palliative care, respite care, skilled home health care, and tele-health care.
If you qualify, we hope you will take advantage of this program.