Did you know that as a Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, you may qualify for a special Disability Pension benefit that can be used to cover some of the costs of home care services?
The Veteran’s Disability Pension: “Aid and Attendance Allowance”
Who May Qualify?
- Veteran Status: The Veteran, alive or deceased, must have served ninety (90) consecutive days active duty with at least one (1) day during war time. If the Veteran had a service-related medical discharge with less than ninety (90) days active duty and one (1) day during war time, he or she may also qualify. The Veteran must hold an “Honorable Discharge” status. There may be special benefits available for Veterans who served “in country”, Vietnam, Gulf War, or who were POW’s.
- Widowed Spouses: A widowed spouse must have been married to the Veteran at the time of the Veteran’s death and never remarried. The widowed spouse must have been married to the Veteran for at least one (1) year or have had children by the Veteran. The widowed spouse must also have been living with the Veteran at the time of the Veteran’s death, unless the separation was due to medical or military reasons.
- Financial Qualification: Total household assets (stocks, bonds, CDs, IRAs, 401(k)s, annuities, savings, cash, cash value of whole life insurance policies, checking, appraised value of business or second property, etc.) cannot exceed $80,000. In the case of a married Veteran, both spouses’ assets count, even if assets were premarital. Exceptions may exist in the case of jointly-owned assets where another adults is co-owner of the assets. You may also qualify under a “Low Income” provision if the net monthly income after certain medical expenses is low enough and meets the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs criteria.
- Homebound Status: Housebound certification is required by the individual’s doctor stating that they are in need of assistance due to an existing medical condition.
What Are the Benefits?
- The Veteran’s Pension fund can cover up to 60 hours each month for care needed by a qualified U.S. Armed Forces Veteran with spouse, or up to 50 hours each month for a Veteran who is single. Surviving spouses can receive up to 30 hours of care each month for home care. (These guidelines may vary each year.)
- Benefits are available for both service related and non-service related disabilities. The
- A Veteran or Veteran’s widow in receipt of service-related compensation may be able to receive an increase if they are certified as housebound and in need of personal care.
- Once approved for the Aid & Assistance Allowance, Veterans may qualify for free medications, medical equipment, hearing aids, and incontinence supplies.
Find Out More!
Certain requirements do apply, and you can check with the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs in your area for more information. More information is available online at www.va.gov. Search for “Disability Pension”.