The Aid and Attendance Benefit can be an invaluable resource for veterans and their families, especially when home care is needed. There are a number of things people should understand about the Aid and Attendance pension program, made available through the VA. Below are five important things to understand that can help aging veterans and even fully disabled younger veterans realize there may be financial support for home care services.
First, who is eligible for this pension?
In order to qualify for the Aid and Attendance Benefit, a veteran needs to be considered a ‘wartime veteran.’ This means at least one day of their active duty service needs to have overlapped either World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam Era, or the Gulf War. The formal dates of these engagements are December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946; June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955; August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975, but for veterans who were serving “in country” before August 5, 1964, the dates for them with regard to the Aid and Attendance Benefit would be February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975; August 2, 1990 and continuing, until a Presidential Proclamation officially ends the Gulf War.
Second, what is the rating system?
Determining just how much a veteran might be eligible to receive from the Aid and Attendance Benefit can be complicated. Basically, they need to have an inability or extreme difficulty simply getting dressed or undressed himself or herself. They may need constant adjustment for a special prosthetic or orthopedic appliance that cannot be done without reasonable assistance, an inability to feed oneself, an inability to attend basic needs, including going to the bathroom, or some physical or mental incapacity that makes it necessary to rely on somebody else for assistance on a consistent and regular basis.
Third, what are disqualifying assets?
These would be any asset that could easily be converted into financial resources to pay for some type of home care. For example, this can include a second (or rental) home.
Fourth, what special cases are there for long-term care costs?
There may be certain provisions that allow a veteran to receive financial support through the Aid and Attendance Benefit. A veteran 65 or over may not need to be completely disabled, but in most cases a veteran under 65 will need to be deemed fully disabled to be eligible for financial assistance for long term home support services.
Finally, the calculation of the benefit depends on numerous factors.
It depends on the individual veteran, his or her dependents, whether this is a spouse or surviving widow, current income and assets, and numerous other factors.
For any veteran interested in the Aid and Attendance Benefit, they are encouraged to fill out and submit an application to the Veteran’s Administration as early as possible.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care for aging veterans in Lancaster, PA, contact the caring staff at Extended Family Care of Lancaster. Call today at (717) 205-2174.
A long-time resident of Lancaster County, Mary Lynne enjoys spending time with her husband Terry, and their 3 horses and collies. The countless hours of caring for her client and employee-based “family” at work and at home can truly depict the selfless character of Mary Lynne Heller.
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