You’ve Earned It: The Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit | Avalon Memory Care

You’ve Earned It: The Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit

Where to start?

Many veterans and spouses of veterans have little or no idea what benefits are available to them and how to apply for them. If that sounds like you or someone you know, call the Veteran’s Benefit Hotline at 800 827-1000.

Thousands of VA Benefits are available for those people who are still serving, for those just transitioning out of the service, to those whose spouses served long ago, and for everyone in-between. Available benefits run the gamut from the obvious, like pension and healthcare benefits, to the less well known like financial support for your veteran owned small business and, of interest to most readers of our blog, the Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit.

As with many government-related benefits, there can be a lot of confusion and misconceptions surrounding it. We’ve broken down some of the most frequently asked questions (and answers) to help clarify and bring understanding to this helpful benefit.

What Is the Aid & Attendance Benefit?

The Aid & Attendance benefit, also known as “VA assisted living benefit,” “improved pension” or “veterans elder care benefits,” is a monetary benefit available to eligible veterans and their surviving spouses. It can be used to pay for home health care assistance, the cost of living in an assisted living community or other services that the individual needs for their everyday functioning.

Who qualifies for the Aid & Attendance Benefit?

If you currently receive a military pension and require help with ADLs (“Activities of Daily Living” such as eating, drinking, bathing, dressing, toileting, paying bills, homemaking, etc.), you may qualify for the benefit. To qualify, seniors must meet two requirements: a military-related requirement and a health-related requirement.

First, the individual must be a veteran or the surviving spouse of a deceased eligible veteran. The person or their spouse must have served on active duty for at least 90 days, and at least one of those days must have been during one of the wartime periods listed below.
• Mexican Border Period (May 9, 1916 – April 5, 1917)
• World War I (April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918)
• World War II (December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946)
• Korean conflict (June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955)
• Vietnam era (February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 for those who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975)
• Gulf War (August 2, 1990 – through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation)

Second, the individual must receive an official medical rating of “aid and attendance.” A medical professional must make an official diagnosis that the veteran or spouse requires regular assistance in order to live safely. In order to obtain this rating, the individual must:
• Need help from another person to take care of tasks of daily life like dressing, mobility, toileting or bathing; or
• Be bedridden due to a disability; or
• Reside in a nursing facility due to a mental or physical incapacity; or
• Have visual acuity of 5/200 or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.

Are spouses eligible?

Yes. If the individual requiring assistance is the spouse of a living veteran who meets the benefit military service requirements, he or she is also eligible for this benefit if they meet the income and needs requirements above.
How do I receive an official medical rating of “aid and attendance?”

The first step is to visit your primary physician to discuss your needs and ask for a report that shows you or your loved one require long-term care in order to live safely. Your doctor will also need to fill out the Examination for House2bound Status or Permanent Need for Regular Aid and Attendance Form, or VA Form 21-2680.

Do I have to meet a certain income level to qualify?

To be eligible, veterans or their eligible spouses must have a net worth (not including automobile, personal effects, and residence) under $123,600 and report “countable income” minus medical insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses to calculate the “Maximum Annual Pension Rate.” To learn more, refer to

How long does it take to get approved for Aid and Attendance?

The VA processes applications in the order they are received which normally takes about 6 to 8 weeks. Benefits are applied retroactively from the application date.

How do I apply for Aid & Assistance?

You can begin online with the forms and information available here, but your local VA Facility or your state’s Pension Management Center (PMC) will help you learn more and get started.

Where can I get more information about the Veteran’s Aid & Attendance benefit?

You can find more information at these sites:

You or your loved one have served our country well, and now it’s time for us to serve you. The Aid and Attendance benefit can be used for a variety of services, all of which can help you or your veteran receive the care they need.
If you have any further questions about how the VA Aid and Attendance benefit can be used, or any further information, contact Avalon Memory Care. We are proud and honored to serve veterans and families of veterans, and we have extensive experience in helping individuals just like you navigate the benefits they earned.

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