Aid and Attendance Benefits for Veterans
Offices in Fishers and Rockville, serving all surrounding Cities
Aid and Attendance for Veterans both aging and disabled and their surviving spouses is something most people are not aware of. Qualifying veterans and their surviving spouse are not only entitled to their basic pension plans through the Department of Veterans Affairs, but also these benefits are available to make life easier for those that spent their lives selflessly protecting our way of life. While these benefits can be used to pay for long term care in nursing home care facilities, there are certain requirements that must be met.
How to Apply?
As with many federal financial benefit programs, the application process is one that is rather complicated and long. This application process is difficult to complete on your own, and one wrong move can get the entire application denied, then forcing you to wait another year to apply. This year not only sucks the family financial resources dry to try to find other means to pay the mounting bills that come with nursing home care facilities. This is why assistance with these application is encouraged. Another plus with this Aid and Attendance benefit is that the Department of Veterans Affairs has made it illegal to charge for an application to be filed on your behalf.
How Much Can I Qualify For?
The amount that a qualifying Veteran, or their surviving spouse is dependent on the financial resources of the individual, and the maximum benefit that the Federal Government issues. Also, it is important to note that these Federal maximum benefit amounts are constantly changing with each new adaptation of the program, and actual amount may be less that the maximum.
The 2019 Maximum Benefits
- Maximum Monthly Benefit for Surviving Spouse: $1,210*
- Maximum Monthly Benefit for Single Veteran: $1,881*
- Maximum Monthly Benefit for Married Veteran: $2,230*
- Maximum Monthly Benefit for Married Veteran Couple: $2,984*
*Note: these maximum benefit amounts may fluctuate and the actual benefit that is approved may be less
Am I Eligible?
While there is a complexity to the application process, there are only three key aspects that determine the eligibility of a Veteran or Surviving Spouse.
The first aspect is service. This is the easiest aspect to examine and determine eligibility. In order to qualify, the Veteran must have been in active military duty for at least 90 days, with at least one day of eligible wartime period which can be described as the following wartime periods: the Mexican Border Period, World War I, World War II, Korean Conflict, Vietnam Era, and the Gulf War. Also, the Veteran must have been discharged any way but dishonorably.
The next aspect is medical. This is where the application process begins to get more complicated. On a basic level, the applicant must show signs of needing assistance to perform daily life basic duties. A deeper level of requirements are established under the VA to determine the need for this program, which can be explained on an individual level.
The final aspect is financial. This is another challenging part of the application, as the basic requirements are under the general statement of exhibiting a financial need. Therefore, each application is based individually and evaluated on the individual need of the applicant. There are no set in stone regulations on the asset determination of the individual, but the general rule of thumb is to have less than $80,000 in assets. There is also no specific income level that the individual is required to be under, but rather an equation called the Income for VA Purposes, or the IVAP for short, that the VA reviewer will determine to figure if benefits are warranted or not. There are some rearrangements of income that can occur to make an individual eligible, and this is how assistance in filling the application is important.
How Can I Qualify for Aid and Attendance Benefits?
What if you are service and medically eligible, but have too many assets or too much income to qualify? You may consider rearranging your assets and/or income to qualify, which may include re-titling or giving away assets, or establishing a Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance Pensions Benefits Trust. Making these types of changes is perfectly legal, but doing so properly can be complicated. Beware that some actions taken to qualify for VA benefits could create a penalty period, or perhaps even disqualify you entirely from receiving Medicaid benefits should they be needed.