VA Aid and Attendance
VA Aid and Attendance: A Little Known Financial Resource for Veterans
Did you know that there are over 650,000 living veterans in Michigan according to the US Department of Veteran Affairs? Of that number, 34,769 of these veterans served in World War II, 237,675 served in the Vietnam Era and 59,711 in the Korean Conflict. These groups of veterans are aging and may find themselves in need of assisted living and care. In many cases, family members are sacrificing to take care of their loved ones at home. We wanted to make you aware that the VA provides a variety of benefits for veterans. For elderly veterans, there is a benefit called the VA Aid and Attendance available to qualifying veteran households.
Unfortunately, most veterans just are not aware of the VA Aid and Attendance benefit. About one-third of all seniors in this country, age 65 and older, could be eligible for this benefit under the right circumstances. That’s approximately how many elderly war veterans or their surviving spouse there are in this county. The benefit applies to veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular 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 assisted living communities, personal care homes, skilled nursing facilities and those receiving personal in-home care.
How do I apply for this benefit?
There are variety of ways to apply for this benefit. Some communities partner with companies that provide consulting to the veteran and their family throughout the entire application process. For VA assistance, please call Kent County Veterans Affairs at (616) 632-5722.
How can these benefits help someone?
VA Aid and Attendance can help pay for care in the home, skilled nursing facility, personal care home or an assisted living community. A veteran may be eligible for up to $1,881/month, while the surviving spouse of a veteran may be eligible for up to $1,209/month. A married couple may be eligible for up to $2,230/month.
Who is Eligible?
Any war veteran with 90 days of active duty and at least one day during active War time that was released with a Honorable/Medical Discharge is eligible for this benefit. A surviving spouse of a war veteran may be eligible if married at the time of death. The individual must qualify both medically and financially. The medical condition must be confirmed by a physician’s diagnosis and the veteran/spouse must not be driving. Financially, the amount of assets are considered when qualifying for this benefit; several items such as their home, vehicle, pre-paid funeral expenses and many other items may not be included in this number. For further information regarding financial qualifications, you can call us or fill out our online questionnaire.
Eligibility service dates are:
o World War ll -12/07/1941 – 12/31/1946: Must have served 90 days active duty
o Korean Conflict – 6/27/1950 – 1/31/1955: Must have served 90 days active duty
o Vietnam Era – 8/5/1964 – 5/7/1975 2/28/61: Vets who served “in country”
o Persian Gulf War – 8/2/1990 – Present: Must have served 2 years active duty
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 resident is paid directly from the VA. This program financially assists the resident with paying their monthly care and/or services.
If you have a loved one that qualifies for VA Aid and Attendance, it is important to make sure you are aware of all the assistance available to them. The secret for receiving a successful VA AID and Attendance is not in filling out the forms but in knowing what documents and evidence must be submitted. Knowing the secrets is the most important aspect of the battle. This can be a confusing process that you do not have to tackle alone. We can help you get the facts. Contact us today!