VA Aid and Attendance
VA Aid and Attendance is a monthly pension benefit for Veterans who served during wartime. It is a lesser-known benefit that allows for additional support when a Veteran or surviving family member is housebound and requires additional help from someone to aid them. There are means-tested income and asset thresholds that must be met to qualify for the tax-free benefit payment. The allowances for Aid and Attendance are not exclusive and may be combined for example with Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. Payments are dependent on the type of claim and the medical rating of the applicant. Sadly, many qualified Veterans or family members are not aware of this benefit and never apply.
Eligibility requirements include a minimum of 90 days active duty, with at least one day of wartime service, but it does not require it to be a combat role. Dishonorable discharges are disqualified. The VA has specific “period of war” definitions that are spelled out. These periods are World War II specifically 12/7/41-12/31/46; Korean Conflict 6/27/50 – 1/31/55; Vietnam Era 8/5/64-5/7/75 including in-country service extensions to 2/28/61; and Gulf War 8/2/90-TBD as that conflict is still ongoing. The Gulf War has different service requirements. 24 months or active-duty requirement completion whichever is met first.
In addition, Veterans under 65 must be totally disabled to qualify for the benefit. Medical evidence is required at the time of application. Veterans or surviving spouses must have a medical need for disability-required aid or supervision. Income limits and net worth limits also apply. Household income must be below the Maximum Allowable Pension Rate (MAPR) as defined by the Veterans Administration. Circumstances dictate the levels, and the rates are subject to change. It may take the Administration some time to review forms, but be assured, the benefit is retroactive from the time the application is submitted.
Qualifying care needs would include, but not limited to, the following Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) accepted by the Veterans Administration:
- Assistance with bathing or showering
- Assistance with toileting
- Assistance with feeding (having a need to be fed by another)
- Assistance with dressing or undressing
- Assistance with transferring in or out of a bed or a chair
- Assistance with incontinence
- Assistance with walking
- Your eyesight is limited (even with glasses or contact lenses you have only 5/200 or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less)
- Housebound due to disability
- Bedbound due to disability
- Medication Management if administered by a nurse (this is a major change!)
We recommend individuals order discharge papers: DD214/separation papers accessible at the following website: https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records
It may be helpful to work with experts in navigating these benefits rather than going to the VA office directly. Two experts we have experience working with are:
- John Wardell Capital Advisor Group 410-609-6700 John@capitaladvisorgroup.com
- Sandy Messer Long Term Insurance 877-286-0402 Sandy@LTAinfo.com
If you think you or a loved one may qualify it is worth looking into the VA Aid and Attendance benefit. It exists to assist veterans and their families in paying for assisted living and covering care needs that are ongoing and necessary.
VA Aid and Attendance Benefits and Eligibility Criteria - Housebound Rating. (2021, May 7). National Veterans Foundation. https://nvf.org/va-aid-and-attendance-benefits/
VA Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound allowance | Veterans Affairs. (2022, October 12). Veterans Affairs. https://www.va.gov/pension/aid-attendance-housebound/