By Brian Bronson, Esq.
There are benefits available to veterans and their spouses under federal law, some of which are little understood and are frequently underused. The Aid and Attendance Improved Pension benefit provides financial assistance to wartime veterans and surviving spouses who require aid of another person in daily living needs such as eating, bathing and dressing. Eligible individuals also include patients in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. In order to be considered a “wartime” veteran, the service personnel must serve at least 90 days on active duty.
Given the colossal costs of nursing homes and personal care homes, a program such as Aid and Attendance Pension benefits can help protect the assets of your loved ones when they need them most. Although the program does provide a rather generous benefit, the benefit itself generally will not cover an individual’s entire nursing home or personal care facility cost.
To qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits, a treating physician must establish that the eligible individual requires daily assistance from others. Also, on average, an applicant must have less than $80,000 in assets, excluding their home and vehicles. Currently the Aid and Attendance Pension benefit can provide up to $1,632 per month to a veteran, $1,055 per month to a surviving spouse, or $1,949 per month to a couple.
If you believe that you or a loved one are entitled to these benefits, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. Please contact our office if you need assistance regarding the application process.