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Pension Benefits Through the US Department of Veterans Affairs
Wartime veterans of the armed forces have access to numerous benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) upon returning home from their service. Among those benefits, one of the least-known is the “Aid and Attendance” pension available to both the veteran and his or her spouse.
Which veterans qualify for Aid and Attendance?
A veteran, or the veteran’s surviving spouse, may be eligible for Aid and Attendance if the veteran was discharged from the armed forces under conditions that were not dishonorable, and served at least 90 days of continuous service, with at least one of those days during the following wartime periods:
- World War II (December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946)
- Korean Conflict (June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955)
- Vietnam Era (August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975)
- Gulf War (August 2, 1990 to a date to be determined)
Vietnam-era veterans who served in country from February 28, 1961 through August 5, 1964 meet the wartime period test.
What else is required to qualify for these benefits?
In addition to the service requirement, the veteran (or his/her spouse) must need assistance from an attendant with several “activities of daily living.” Activities of daily living include dressing, bathing, preparing meals, or managing finances. Typically, if the veteran requires nursing home care, assisted living, or in-home caregivers, they will qualify medically for the pension.
How does the VA determine the benefits you receive?
The veteran’s (or surviving spouse’s) income, less unreimbursed medical expenses, must be below a limit set by law. Unreimbursed medical expenses can include expenses paid to doctors, hospitals, assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, insurance companies, dentists, and caregivers.
In 2017, a veteran qualifying for the full Aid and Attendance pension would receive $1,794 per month and a fully qualifying spouse would receive $1,153 per month.
How to apply for Aid and Attendance
It is extremely important that the application is sent to the Veteran’s Administration in perfect order and with all the information and medical expenses properly documented. If the application is denied by the VA because of an error or omission on the application itself, the veteran will be (in most cases) ineligible to reapply for one year.
If you believe you (or a loved one) may be eligible for Aid and Attendance, you should speak with a veterans’ pension planning attorney about how you can best navigate the application process.
Schedule a consultation with our experienced California veterans pension planning attorneys
Central Coast Law, PC is a top veterans pension planning law firm in California. Our attorneys help wartime veterans qualify for VA pensions to pay for in-home care, medical bills, and other unreimbursed medical expenses. We also serve clients in estate planning matters, probate, elder law, and retirement planning,
Schedule a planning session with our experienced attorneys today to learn how we can help you and your family.