Getting aid for our veterans

The Veterans Administration offers the "Veterans Aid and Attendance" program as part of an "Improved Pension Benefit" that is largely unknown.

The “Improved Pension Benefit” is designed for both Veterans and surviving spouses. This benefit allows for covering those who wish to remain living in their own home yet 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.

Instances where this may apply include stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, symptoms attributable to dementia, Alzheimer disease and wide ranger of other conditions. It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of physical limitations or mental incapacity. Assisted care in an Assisted Living facility also qualifies.

The rules governing Medicaid eligibility make "Veterans Aid and Attendance" benefits an essential resource for many veterans and spouses. Eligibility is based upon if the veteran:

  • Served ninety (90) consecutive days active duty
  • At least one (1) day during a time of conflict
  • Honorably discharged

"Veterans Aid and Attendance" benefits can be combined with Social Security and pension income, to make long term care planning for veterans and their spouses.

This most important benefit is overlooked by many veterans and many families with veterans or surviving spouses. This is a "Pension Benefit" - it is not dependent upon service related injuries for compensation.

"Veterans Aid and Attendance" can help pay for care in the home, nursing home or assisted living facility. A veteran is eligible for up to $1,788 per month, while a surviving spouse is eligible for up to $1,149 per month. A veteran with a spouse is eligible for up to $2,120 per month. (Figures are from the Veteran's Administration as of January 1, 2015. Contact the VA to verify current "Aid and Attendance " monthly payments.)

Contact the Veterans Administration at 1-800-827-1000.

With grateful appreciation for all who have served and their families,

-Rev. Colby