Best Kept Secret: VA Aid and Attendance Program


Blog by Jamie Cowan 

This little known benefit is a needs-based program paid to a veteran or the widow/widower of a veteran (who hasn’t remarried) whose health conditions require non-medical, or personal care. What kind of care, you ask? How does adult day care, or home care sound? Yes, Aid and Attendance can be used for that. And it can be used to pay a family member other than a spouse to care for the veteran at home.

Sounds like a wonderful program, right? It is, so why aren’t more veterans taking advantage of Aid and Attendance?

Basic knowledge of the program is the biggest reason. Most seniors who served their country – and there are more than 25 million war veterans eligible for VA benefits, with 4.6 million over the age of 65 – have either forgotten or aren’t aware of programs like Aid and Attendance.

When Aid and Attendance was created in the 1950s, there were no assisted living facilities, nursing homes or programs to help people as they naturally aged. The nursing home industry didn’t take off until the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. Until then, the common thing was for parents to move in with their grown children because that’s how it was always done. Times have definitely changed, but the aging process hasn’t.

 If you’re a veteran or the spouse of a veteran, it’s time to find out if you’re eligible for these benefits. Here’s the eligibility criterion:

  • The veteran served at least 90 days of active military duty, one day of which was during a war-time period.
  • The veteran was honorably discharged from the service. When applying for this benefit, the applicant would be asked to show his discharge papers, the DD-214.
  • Must require the assistance of another person to perform some of the activities of daily living (ADLs): eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, and transferring (walking).
  • Meet the income and countable asset criteria established by the VA.
  • Must be 65 years and older or totally disabled.

And, of course, the veteran must have served during the times determined by the VA. Those dates are:

  • World War II: Dec. 7, 1941 – Dec. 31, 1946
  • Korean War: June 27, 1950 – Jan. 31, 1955
  • Vietnam War: Feb. 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975
  • Persian Gulf War: Aug. 2, 1990 – present

Now that you’re a little more familiar with Aid and Attendance, do you think it’s a program for yourself, a loved one or someone you know?

About the author: Jamie Cowan is the Founder of Life Planning Consultants, LLC. He specializes in the areas of Life, annuity & longterm care Insurance and asset protection. Information on veterans aid & attendence benefits and funeral consulting. Protection, preservation and distrabution.Helping you keep what you earned. For more information see the link below:

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