Through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans are entitled to a wide range of benefits even if they are not yet retired from the military or have suffered injuries in the line of duty. The improved pension benefit, otherwise known as the Aid and Attendance Pension, through the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) is one of those benefits that is often not taken advantage of. The Aid and Attendance Pension allows the VA to make payments to caregivers, whether they are a spouse or another loved one. This is extremely beneficial, because it can be used along with other income and allows assets to be allocated toward other needs. The requirements to qualify are as follows:
- The veteran must have served at least 90 days active duty with one day served during wartime for specific wartime periods. The claimant must not have received a dishonorable discharge.
- The veteran must be declared permanently and totally disabled. This means the individual is living in a nursing home, blind, or nearly blind or significantly disabled to require regular aid of another person in order to complete daily activities. Requiring assistance with at least two activities of daily living such as dressing or bathing, ordinarily satisfies the disability requirement.
- The veteran must meet a financial means test. There is no general standard for how much an individual should have in income or assets. Part of this includes the veteran showing that their monthly unreimbursed medical expenses exceed their monthly income. This includes cost of caregivers and payments toward nursing facilities.
By satisfying these elements, a veteran and/or spouse is entitled to receive this benefit. In 2017, the maximum monthly benefit that a single veteran is entitled to is $1,794.00. A widow may be entitled to $1,153.00 per month. A married veteran may be entitled to $2,127.00 per month and a couple may be entitled to $2,841.00 per month.
If you are looking to apply for this benefit, it is important to speak with a professional who can assist you with the process. The care professionals at P&P Medicaid are available to help individuals and their caregivers find a health care solution to meet their needs. We work with the individual as well as their loved ones to develop a comprehensive long-term care strategy that is reassessed on a regular basis. Our care managers assist with nursing home placement or home healthcare aide management, while advising our clients on choices to protect their income and financial resources. For more information about services or to schedule a free consultation, contact our Long Island geriatric care management office at (516) 541-4770.