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Long-term care can be complicated and confusing.  One way to help pay for long-term care is Aid & Attendance, which is a VA benefit available to certain veterans and their spouses.

What does Aid & Attendance provide for veterans?

Aid & Attendance provides a stipend to help pay for long-term care.  Widows (or widowers) of vets can receive about $1,100 per month.  Single vets can receive about $1,750 per month, and married vets can receive about $2,100 per month.  An applicant must meet qualification requirements for military service, medical need, and financial need.

 

What sort of military service qualifies for this VA benefit?

Any vet who served at least one day of active duty during a specified wartime period and was not dishonorably discharged can qualify.  You do not need to be “boots on ground” (with the exception of certain dates during the Vietnam War) or have served in combat.  You could have been stationed in the U.S.  The periods of war are:

  • World War I:     4/6/1917 – 11/11/1918
  • World War II:  12/7/1941 – 12/31/1946
  • Korean War:    6/27/1950 – 1/31/1955
  • Vietnam
    • Boots on ground:  2/28/1961 – 8/4/1964
    • All others: 8/5/1964 – 5/7/1975
  • Persian Gulf: 8/2/1990 – (To be determined)

 

What are the medical qualifications?

In order to qualify medically, a veteran or their spouse must need assistance with at least 2 activities of daily living (ADLs).  ADLs include ambulation (walking), transferring, using the restroom, bathing, and medication management.  An applicant can be receiving assistance with those at home or at a facility.

What are the financial qualifications?

In order to qualify financially, a veteran (and their spouse, if married) can have a maximum of $127,061 in assets, which includes yearly income.  For example, let’s say a veteran earns $40,000 per year, and their spouse earns $30,000 per year.  They can then have $57,061 in other assets.  ($127,061 – $70,000 = $57,061).  The home is not counted toward total assets and can be of any value.  However, the full value of assets such as IRA’s, 401(k)’s, annuities, etc. are counted.  The cash-surrender value of any life insurance policy is counted.

 

Can I give away assets to qualify?

Generally, no.  There is a new 3-year lookback period, which means that the VA looks back 3 years and will penalize an applicant for doing so.

 

Is the application hard to do?

Yes.  There are a lot of forms to be submitted, and there is certain wording that needs to be used.  It is a good idea to get assistance.  You cannot be charged for assistance with an application.  Certain veteran’s service organizations and attorneys are accredited.  To check if someone is accredited, you can go to the following website:  https://www.va.gov/ogc/apps/accreditation/index.asp

 

Thank you for reading.  Please keep in mind that I have given general information, and there are always exceptions.  This is not legal advice.  No attorney-client relationship has been established.