There is a benefit called VA Aid and Attendance that can help with the cost of eldercare for Veterans and surviving spouses. According to the Veteran’s Administration 20% of all Veterans qualify for this benefit but only 4% are aware of the benefit. The reason provided is the lack of funding to do a public awareness campaign. I’m writing this article in hope that this information gets in the hands of Veterans who could use this assistance and also with the hope that professionals make this benefit known to their clients.
Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions and some resources that can help.
What’s the Purpose of the Benefit?
The benefit applies to Veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular aid or attendance of another person to assist in bathing, dressing, meal preparation, medication monitoring or other various activities of daily living. This benefit is available to individuals who reside in their own home, a residential care home, assisted living communities, and skilled nursing facilities.
How much is the benefit?
The VA determines how much you qualify for based on your care level and this benefit may be adjusted yearly as your care level increases. The awarded amount depends upon marital status and if the benefit is for the care of the Veteran or surviving spouse. Single Veterans can receive up to $1703/mo for their care; two married Veterans $2632/mo; married Veterans $2019/mo; and surviving spouses $1094/mo.
Who is Eligible?
Any War Veteran with 90 days of active duty with at least one day during active war-time is eligible for the benefit. A surviving spouse of a War Veteran may be eligible if married at the time of the Veteran's death. To see the periods of war that have been qualified by Congress, download the chart at: http://www.liferesourcesgroup.com/Veterans.html
The individual must qualify both medically and financially but doesn't need any service-related disability qualification. Assets cannot exceed $80,000, however, many things, including your home, vehicle, annuities, pre-paid funeral expenses and many other items are not included in this number. Insurance premiums, pharmacy costs, care costs and other costs relating to your care may be deducted from your income to reduce your accountable income.
How quickly would I receive the benefit?
The time frame is determined by the accuracy of the initial application. The average process takes between 4-6 months. However, the VA does pay retroactively from the date of application. The benefit is paid directly to the recipient.
How do I apply for this benefit?
There are many resources available to assist in applying for the benefit. You should keep in mind that any service offered to you should remain free-of-charge. Even though it’s illegal to charge a Veteran or qualifying spouse in the application process, there are individuals and companies who will try and profit.
What resources are available?
You could go to the Veteran’s Administration website but unfortunately, it isn’t easy to find the forms you need. Your local Veteran Service Officers in your specific county can assist in the application process. Websites you’ll find helpful include: www.veteranaid.org and your local resource is: http://www.liferesourcesgroup.com/Veterans.html
If you still find yourself needing some guidance, feel free to drop us an email to our designated department at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This benefit can help many of our Veterans and their spouses with financial assistance when needing the aid or assistance of another. Please spread the word and let’s thank a Veteran for his/her service.
Article by Grace Gulden, Trusted Advisor
Life Resources Group, LLC.