Veterans Day - Home Care Makes a Difference in Veterans Lives
Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits can make a huge difference in a persons life, however, the actual benefit still remains somewhat a mystery. Some say the benefits are too good to be true while others swear the benefit has allowed them to remain independent longer.
Officially the benefit is called the "Veterans' Aid and Attendance Improved Pension".
First I will outline who is allowed to use the benefit and then I will explain what the benefit can be used for.
Claiming the Benefit
To receive the benefit, a veteran does not need to have experienced an injury in any way. The veteran does not even have to have been in battle during this time, they could have been stationed far away from the actual combat zone. Even if a majority of a veteran's service occurred during peacetime, the service member would still meet the wartime service requirement for eligibility for pension benefits if he or she served ninety consecutive days, at least one day of which occurred during a period designated as wartime.
Lets start with the defined times of war. If you served in the following wars, during the specific years you may qualify. For a complete list, click here.
Indian Wars: January 1, 1817 through December 31, 1898
Spanish-American War: April 21, 1898, through July 4, 1902
Mexican Border War: May 9, 1916, through April 5, 1917
World War I: April 6, 1917, through November 11, 1918
World War II: December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946
Korean Conflict: June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955
Vietnam Era: August 5, 1964, through May 7, 1975
Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990, through a date to be prescribed by presidential proclamation or law.
A veteran must also meet certain needs, classified as Activities of Daily Living (ADL's).
According to the Veterans Administration:
"This Improved Pension allows for Veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing, undressing, medication dosing, or taking care of the needs of nature to receive additional monetary benefits. It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity. Assisted care in an Assisted Living facility also qualifies."
An important point to remember is that while this benefit is available, the paperwork and overall maintenance of the benefit can be lengthly and cumbersome. In my experience, families need to have a key contact person who monitors the communication between the VA administration and the providers the veteran is using. There are companies who can make this process less cumbersome, however understand that in many cases this means your overall benefit is reduced. If you have questions about this, please feel free to contact us.
What The Benefit Pays
This is a "Pension Benefit" and IS NOT dependent upon service-related injuries for compensation. Aid and Attendance can help pay for care in the home, Nursing Home or Assisted Living facility. A Veteran is eligible for up to $1,632 per month, while a surviving spouse is eligible for up to $1,055 per month. A couple is eligible for up to $1,949 per month*.
For the best information on starting this process, you can call the Seniors Home Care office or follow some of these helpful links below:
* The figures amount of benefit a veteran or surviving spouse can change and depends on the applicants financial needs. Please contact the VA for exact aid and attendance benefit amounts.
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