Veterans Aid

VETERANS AID & ATTENDANCE BENEFIT
Here’s the link – https://www.benefits.va.gov/pension/aid_attendance_housebound.asp

Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to Pension.

Since Aid and Attendance and Housebound allowances increase the pension amount, people who are not eligible for a basic pension due to excessive income may be eligible for pension at these increased rates. A Veteran or surviving spouse may not receive Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time.

Aid & Attendance (A&A)

The Aid & Attendance (A&A) increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment
  • You are bedridden, in that your disability or disabilities requires that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment
  • You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity
  • Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less
Housebound

This increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount when you are substantially confined to your immediate premises because of permanent disability.

How to Apply

You may apply for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits by writing to the Pension Management Center (PMC) that serves your state. You may also visit your local regional benefit office to file your request. You can locate your local regional benefit office using the VA Facility Locator.

You should include copies of any evidence, preferably a report from an attending physician validating the need for Aid and Attendance or Housebound type care.

  • The report should be in sufficient detail to determine whether there is disease or injury producing physical or mental impairment, loss of coordination, or conditions affecting the ability to dress and undress, to feed oneself, to attend to sanitary needs, and to keep oneself ordinarily clean and presentable.
  • Whether the claim is for Aid and Attendance or Housebound, the report should indicate how well the applicant gets around, where the applicant goes, and what he or she is able to do during a typical day. In addition, it is necessary to determine whether the claimant is confined to the home or immediate premises.

Also, Ronalda Hobson added that there’s an INTENT TO APPLY form that can be found online. Each state is different. The beauty of this form is that once the date of filing is on record no matter the delay, the reimbursement is retroactive to this date. (Awesome). I’ve talked with many individuals about this and MY best advice would be to tell them that if they have any assets to protect they might start first with an Estate Planning attorney and one that specialized is Medicaid and VA Benefits. We used to say, “spend down” but please caution seniors regarding this philosophy if you have the opportunity. This might jeopardize their ability to get Medicaid or VA Benefits later if a nursing home, for example, is needed. AND- One interesting aspect of VA benefit law is that it is illegal to charge a Veteran for the helping the Veteran file any application for benefits. If accredited, an attorney or agent may assist with filing applications but in most cases may not charge for doing so, they would be paid to protect their assets while utilizing VA Benefits that they worked so hard for. It’s a shame that most Veterans don’t know about this resource. Don’t keep it a secret. Hope the links above help!

So here you go, please review, store and organize your meeting notes. Organization is the KEY!! Do you have a document that organizes your careseekers? Your CRM? We talked about it a few meetings ago and I sent an excel spreadsheet for your ease but if you were not there or need the information let me know. You can always call me. I may answer my phone – text or call – faster than my email.