When you or a loved one needs help with daily living activities, finding ways to afford care can be daunting. For veterans and their spouses, there is financial assistance that can take some of the sting out of those costs. While these benefits can vary depending on the type of service and other eligibility information, many veterans do not know that help is available. If you think that you are eligible, start the process as soon as possible, as the paperwork can be extensive.
One of the ways that the VA assists veterans with senior care is through the Aid and Attendance Benefit. This is a monthly pension allowance that wartime veterans, single surviving spouses, and dependent children can apply for to assist with the cost of being homebound. Assistance monies vary depending on eligibility criteria, medical need, and other factors.
A Survivor’s Pension is available to a surviving spouse or dependent children of a deceased, wartime veteran. Benefits can be given of up to about $1,200 per month if care is needed after the veteran dies. These benefits can be used in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or for care in the home if eligibility requirements are met and need help with daily living activities.
Housebound (or Homebound) Benefits) are an increased pension amount for veterans who spend most of their time confined to their residence because of a permanent disability. These funds can be used to offset the cost of residential care, including assisted living.
Veterans who meet the service and financial eligibility requirements for pension support and need assistance with activities of daily living, qualify for help with the costs of assisted living. Specific service requirements include being a wartime veteran, having been discharged other than dishonorably, be 65 years or older, or totally disabled. A spouse seeking Spousal Benefits must have been married to the veteran at the time of their passing and not remarried unless to a wartime veteran. The need for help with activities of daily living requirements can include being a resident of a nursing home due to physical, medical, or visual impairment or being homebound.
Veterans who qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit can use their pension amount towards assisted living costs. A single, wartime veteran can receive up to $1,937 per month. A veteran with a spouse or dependent can receive up to $2,296, two married veterans who both qualify can receive $3,072 and a surviving spouse with no dependents can receive $1,245 per month. You can see from these amounts that veterans will probably not get the complete cost of assisted living taken care of but there is substantial help!
You can choose to either apply online or in person at a Pension Management Center (PMC). The forms can be found on the Veteran’s Affairs website and filled out online or mailed. Gathering and submitting all of the required paperwork can be a lengthy process, but, accurate information and working with a Veteran’s Benefits advisor can help. Check with your local VA office for further assistance. You can find the link to the VA online forms page here. https://www.va.gov/vaforms/form_detail.asp?FormNo=21-2680
Given the challenges of managing long-term care needs, veteran’s resources can be very helpful. Look to them for assistance with other long-term care needs such as transportation costs to and from medical appointments, long-term care planning and evaluations, respite care relief for at-home caregivers, adult day health care and at-home skilled help.
Having given their service to us, veterans have earned all of the services and resources that Veteran’s Affairs can offer.