VA Benefits Planning

The Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit from the VA

“Aid and Attendance” is a commonly used term for a benefit from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that is available to qualifying wartime Veterans and their surviving spouses. Aid and Attendance is part of the VA’s Disability and Death Pension programs. Other names for these Pensions include Enhanced Monthly Benefit, Income Improvement Pension, Non-Service Connected Disability Pension, and Improved Pension.

“Aid and Attendance” refers to the fact that in order to qualify for this higher level of Pension, the Veteran or surviving spouse must demonstrate a regular need for the assistance of a caregiver or the need to live in a protected environment because of physical or mental impairment. Such assistance is most commonly provided in an assisted living community or at home through a home care agency. If the Veteran does not require Aid and Attendance, but has a low household income, they may be eligible for a base pension of a lesser dollar amount.

Aid & Attendance Benefits 2023

  • $2,229 per month (Single Veteran)
  • $2,642 per month (Veteran and Spouse)
  • $1,750 (Sick spouse, Healthy vet)
  • $1,432 (Surviving Spouse)
Net Worth

  • $150,537 (Net Worth Max)

Misperceptions Surrounding the VA’s Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit

When seeking sources of funding to help elderly patients pay for senior care many medical professionals are unfamiliar with the valuable VA’s Aid and Attendance Benefit that can typically be available to more than 50% of their senior patients and clients. This VA Pension helps provides up to $31,704 annually for those paying privately for home care and assisted living as well as nursing home care and adult day if not paid by other funding sources.

To be medically eligible for this benefit wartime veterans and spouses must need either regular assistance with two Activities of Daily Living, also known as ADLs, (bathing, dressing, toileting, feeding, transferring, or ambulating) OR have been a diagnosed cognitive impairment (Dementia or Alzheimer’s). For example, a weekly bathing assist to ensure the senior is safe getting in and out of the shower and redressed is enough to meet the benefit’s second criteria.

Proof of these senior care needs is documented on a VA Form 21-2680 titled “Examination for Housebound Status or Permanent Need for Aid and Attendance”. Three simple pages can be completed by any Physician or Nurse Practitioner; however, a common misunderstanding is that it must be done by a VA Doctor. Most often the applicant does not even need to visit the physician’s office if they have been seen in the past year as the VA Form can be scanned or faxed back and forth. Another misperception is that services known as iADLs, Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, (medication management, meal preparation, housekeeping, transportation) are enough to qualify, unfortunately, they are not.

To learn more about the other criteria of this little-known VA Benefit; Military Service, Income and Assets, professionals and veteran families can visit anytime to take a free eligibility questionnaire. Those whose savings and investments are greater than $150,000 should contact Elder Care Financial Planning to learn options to become eligible for this valuable benefit.

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