When it comes to financing senior care, older adults are often unaware of how many financial options there are that can help. From life-settlement funds to bridge loans, there are a variety of programs designed to make it easier to finance senior care. One benefit that is often overlooked was created for veterans and their surviving spouses. It is the Pension with Aid and Attendance Benefit and is commonly referred to as the Aid and Attendance for Veterans Benefit.
What is the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit?
This benefit, managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, provides financial support to veterans to assist with the costs of long-term care. The purpose of this program is to ensure that veterans who served our nation receive the care they need.
Aid and Attendance support is available only to veterans and surviving spouses who meet eligibility requirements. In general, the veteran needs to have served at least 90 days of active-duty service with at least one day during a recognized period of war.
There are other eligibility requirements for the Aid and Attendance benefit for veterans that must also be met:
- Age or disability: To receive this pension, a veteran must be at least 65-years-old or be totally and permanently disabled. Seniors who receive home care, live in a senior living community or receive skilled nursing care may be eligible, as can veterans who are receiving Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).
- Physical condition: The veteran and/or their surviving spouse must also meet one of these conditions to be eligible:
- Need regular, although not full time, supervision due to a physical, cognitive, mental or developmental condition OR
- Require the aid of another person to perform 2 activities of everyday living tasks (e.g., dressing, bathing, feeding, toileting)
How much does the VA pay for Aid and Attendance?
The 2023 Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit rates are:
- A single Veteran may qualify for as much as $2,229 per month
- A Veteran with a spouse may qualify for as much as $2,642 per month
- A surviving spouse may qualify for as much as $1,432 per month
- Two Veterans who are married may qualify for up to $3,536 per month
These amounts have historically increased by the same cost of living adjustments as social security.
Commonly Asked Questions about Aid and Attendance
Q: Is this benefit different from a monthly military pension for veterans?
A: Yes. This benefit is separate from and in addition to a monthly pension from a branch of the Military. This pension is from the VA and can be granted in addition to a Military pension. You cannot receive disability compensation or Death and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and Pension with Aid and Attendance at the same time. If you qualify for both disability compensation or DIC and you also qualify for the Pension with Aid and Attendance, you can choose whichever is most advantageous for you. Surprisingly, the lower paying benefit is occasionally the better financial choice.
Q: How does a veteran or surviving spouse apply for this benefit? Can you apply in person?
A: Veterans or a surviving spouse can apply through their regional Veterans Affairs office. However, it is a complicated and time-consuming process and, similar to filing your taxes, you might want to work with a professional with expertise in the Pension with Aid and Attendance benefit. At Five Star Senior Living, we partner with Elder Resource Benefits Consulting to help our residents and future residents with consultation and guidance regarding the VA Aid & Attendance benefit.
To learn more about this benefit and to book your appointment for your free benefit analysis we invite you to contact Elder Resource Benefits Consulting at 833-822-9273 or 508-485-0039 or go to elderbenefitsconsulting.com and select the Book Now option on the home page.
Please have the following information ready before you call:
- Monthly gross income from all sources
- Estimated other annual income—interest, dividends, IRA contributions, capital gains, etc.
- Monthly health and/or long-term care insurance premiums
- Monthly projected residency fee
- Understanding of applicant’s assets, including IRAs
Five Star Affordability: Download our Cost of Senior Living Guide
We understand that senior living financing options can be confusing, so we created a resource to help. Download our FREE “Your Complete Guide to the Cost of Senior Living” eBook to get the answers you need. Learn about typical cost ranges, services offered and financing options, from Aid and Attendance to using bridge loans. We’ve also included how to contact a senior living counselor who can help answer any further questions. Find out if there’s a Five Star community near you or contact us to learn more.
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