The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the Improved Pension Benefit with Aid and Attendance, commonly referred to as Aid and Attendance which can provide a Veteran (or their surviving spouse) with additional income monthly, up to $23,388 per year. Veterans and their spouses must demonstrate that they have a regular need for the aid and attendance of another individual. The purpose of this non-service-connected benefit is to provide supplemental income to disabled or older veterans or surviving spouses who have low income and/or high unreimbursed medical expenses. Examples of those needing Aid & Attendance are those Veterans or their spouse who have:
- Professional home care providers or family members to provide care in the home,
- Assisted living or adult day care services, or
- Nursing home long-term care services.
The veteran must have served ninety consecutive days on active duty, with one day during a wartime period, and have a discharge other than dishonorable. This Aid & Attendance benefit is not well known or understood and often people are told they do not qualify due to misinformation. Veterans or surviving spouses can qualify for the benefit even if they have relatively large incomes or substantial assets. In order to learn more about Aid & Attendance and other benefits as well as protecting assets from the high cost of long term care, it is important to enlist the assistance of an elder law attorney to properly plan.