What Veterans Benefits are offered for Seniors?

Mom did a great job saving for her retirement. As a single mom for over forty years, she made good sound decisions on her portfolio.  However, when her cognitive abilities declined and she had a change in her mental status, staying independent in her home was no longer an option.  With assets of approximately $130,000, we selected an assisted living with a national average cost of $3,100 a month.

My mother is a survivor of my War-Time veteran father.  Therefore, there is a V.A Aid and Attendance benefit that may be beneficial to her assisted living expenses once she spends down her assets.

What is the V.A. Aid and Attendance benefit?

The Veteran’s Administration has an excellent program designed to assist qualifying veterans or the surviving spouse of a deceased qualified veteran, receive benefits from the VA to help defer pay for their assisted living expenses, nursing home costs, or home health fees in the home.

How do you qualify for the V.A Aid and Attendance benefit?

Any War-Time veteran with 90 days of active duty, (regardless if they saw combat service) 1 day beginning or ending during a period of war is eligible to apply for the benefit.  In addition, the surviving spouse may also apply. The VA reviews two areas for qualifications.  From the medical perspective, a veteran or the surviving spouse must need assistance with basic daily living tasks such as eating, dressing, and bathing.

Veterans or their surviving spouse must also meet the VA’s financial criteria.  Applicants must have on average less than $80,000 in assets excluding their home and vehicles.

How much financial assistance is available?

If the veteran or surviving spouse qualifies for the V.A Aid and Attendance benefit, the monthly benefit up to $1,703 can assist with assisted living or nursing home costs and home care expenditures.  For the surviving spouse, the maximum benefit may be up to $1,094.

What is the next step?

There is an excellent site that will guide you with all the steps for applying for the benefit:  
http://www.veteranaid.org.  In addition, the site offers a link to get retrieval information on military records: http://www.vetrec.archives.gov. Also check the site’s link on common questions & answers regarding the benefit.

Who else can help navigate the process?

The process for applying for the V.A can be challenging.  There are Veteran Consultants and Elder Law attorneys in every state that may assist in navigating the forms.


About the author

I am passionate about sharing senior citizen news and resources discovered from both my profession and personal journey.

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