Nov 11, 2012

VA Aid and Attendance Benefits: Not Service-Connected, Not Widely Known

On this Veterans Day I offer heartfelt thanks to veterans and current service members. Your contributions are extraordinary.

Yesterday morning I spoke before a group of veterans in Boynton Beach, Florida. We discussed many topics, but I had been asked to focus on veterans benefits. As is often the case when I speak before these groups, not ONE of the attendees had ever heard of Aid and Attendance benefits! Data shows that millions of veterans never apply for this benefit because they  don't know about it or mistakenly think they won't qualify. The common misperception is that V.A. benefits are available only if one has been disabled as a result of military service - i.e., "service-connected" benefits. This is not the case with Aid and Attendance benefits.   

Aid and Attendance benefits are the highest level of the V.A.'s "Improved Pension." This benefit is available to qualified wartime veterans that need assistance with the activities of daily living such as washing, dressing, etc., as well as to their surviving spouses. The cash benefits can help pay for at-home care, assisted living, nursing home care. It can dramatically improve the lives of these veterans and their caregivers. 

Although Aid and Attendance applicants must fall below a certain income to qualify, many veterans do not realize that they may deduct out-of-pocket medical expenses, health insurance premiums, etc. from their calculations. There is also a limit on countable assets, but the value of the primary home is not used in determining that figure. Many veterans who never thought they could qualify are surprised to find out help is available.

For detailed eligibility requirements, click over to our webpage on veterans benefits. That page also includes a link that allows you to download a detailed informational booklet.

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