What Is the VA Pension Aid and Attendance Benefit for Veterans?

Female home caregiver talking with senior woman, sitting in living room and listening to her carefully.

A special program administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides the Aid and Attendance benefit for veterans. Many veterans and spouses are unaware of the benefit, which can help pay for long-term care needs and supplement the basic pension benefit.

Aid and Attendance is a cash benefit for a qualified veteran or surviving spouse, paid in addition to the monthly pension benefit. The recipient may use the funds as necessary to pay for expenses such as home personal care, family member caregiving, assisted living, or nursing home care.

Eligibility for the Aid and Attendance Benefit

The program has specific service requirements, as well as income and asset criteria. VA pension eligibility rules changed substantially in October 2018, so even if you were previously ineligible, the new rules may affect your eligibility.

A veteran or surviving spouse who receives a pension and meets service and financial eligibility requirements may qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit if he or she is in one of the following circumstances:

  • Requires help with daily personal care for basic functions,
  • Is bedridden on account of illness or disability,
  • Is a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity, or
  • Has impaired eyesight meeting specific criteria.

A veteran or surviving spouse who qualifies for Aid and Attendance may be eligible for the benefit retroactively for a period of up to a year.

Assistance Determining Eligibility for the VA Pension Aid Attendance Benefit

Like all government assistance programs, the rules for determining eligibility for the Aid and Attendance benefit and VA pensions are complex. In addition, applying for the benefit can affect your eligibility for other government assistance programs, including Medicaid.

The best time to review and consider all your options for government assistance is before you apply to an assistance program. The best way to ensure that you maximize your benefits and protect your assets is to consult with a qualified professional who understands both veterans’ benefits and Medicaid requirements.

Talk with a Georgia Veterans Benefits Planner About the Aid and Attendance Benefit

In our Cartersville elder law practice at Asset Protection & Elder Law of Georgia, veterans benefit planning is an essential part of our services for many clients. We can answer your questions and help you make the right decisions to plan for long-term care and protect your assets in the process.

We provide services to clients throughout the communities northwest of Atlanta, including in Bartow County, Cobb County, Cherokee County, Gordon County, Floyd County and Paulding County.

Call us at (770) 382-0984 or contact us through our online form.