A little-known benefit for ailing vets unveiled

News

A little-known benefit for ailing vets unveiled

by: Kim Suchek | .
. | .
published: November 19, 2014

As a military spouse, I am amazed and frustrated when I come across a benefit that should be used and promoted to the fullest extent, but instead is only offered when you ask for it specifically. The Aid & Attendance benefit for veterans is one of them.

Congress established the seemingly little-known program as part of an “Improved Pension” benefit. The Improved Pension is not a new benefit. In fact, it has been an entitlement for 61 years, possibly sitting idle while millions may have, and may still be, missing out.

The Aid & Attendance benefit allows wartime veterans age 65 years and older and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, taking medication, bathing, dressing and other daily needs to receive additional monetary benefits of up to $2,788. This includes care in an assisted living facility and individuals who are blind or in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity.

This could be a much-needed benefit for many military families with an ailing loved one who is a veteran, spouse, parent or even grandparent. My family needed this benefit the last two years before my grandmother past away, but we had no clue of its existence.

This benefit IS NOT dependent upon service-related injuries for compensation. It helps pay for care in the home, nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Many families may overlook the program as it may also pertain to veterans who are still independent but have an ill spouse. In such situations, if the spouse’s medical expenses deplete a couple’s combined monthly income, the veteran can file as a veteran with a sick spouse.

A couple of eligibility requirements to keep in mind are: A) The veteran must have served 90 days or more on active duty with one day beginning or ending during an active period of war (the veteran does not have to have served overseas during this time period). B) The veteran or spouse must have a non-service related medical condition that requires assistance. C) You must meet the Department of Veterans Affairs’ income and assets guidelines.

The Aid and Attendance benefit is considered to be the third tier of the VA’s Improved Pension. The other two tiers are known as “Basic” and “Housebound.” Each tier has its own level of benefits and qualifications. Make sure to review all levels in the event you or your loved one does not qualify for A&A. 

Remember this benefit is tax free, paid in addition to monthly pension, dependable and comes directly from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It is, however, only available to those who are eligible for monthly pension.

To learn more about this awesome benefit, related resources, go to: www.veteranaid.org/program.php

As I believe this will provide assistance for many, I hope you will contact me and up-date me on how this program improved the lives of your loved one.

Blessings from my family to yours,

Kim Suchek