The Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Pension (“VA A&A” or the “Aid and Attendance Pension”) is a little known cash benefit paid in addition to low income pension to certain wartime veterans or their widows, who have non-service connected disabilities. This Pension benefit was established in 1952 under Title 38 U.S.C. to provide qualified veterans and their surviving spouses with a tax free pension benefit to help defray the cost of long-term care in assisted living facilities or at home. The Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension benefit can make a big difference in the ability of the Veteran or Veteran’s surviving spouse to afford an in-home caregiver in order to be able to stay at home, or to afford to live in an assisted living facility of their choice.

To qualify for this cash pension benefit, the Veteran or the Veteran’s widow must meet certain financial criteria (net income and resource) and must also need the regular aid and attendance of others (i.e., need daily caregiving) so long as they are in assisted living or at home (not skilled nursing care), and have qualifying military service.  A veteran or widow will be considered to have qualifying military service if the veteran served 90 days active duty, of which at least 1 day was during a defined conflict time period, or is the widow of a veteran with qualifying service.  Additionally, the veteran or widow must be unable to work due to disability or age (65 or older).

The VA A&A Pension is a benefit that pays monthly income to the veteran or the widow.  This is different than Medicaid benefits, which do not provide cash, but rather pay the costs of service providers directly. The 2018 VA A&A benefit rates are as follows:

2 Veterans/Spouses $2,903 per month $34,836 annually
Married Veteran $2,169 per month $26,028 annually
Single Veteran $1,830 per month $21,960 annually
Surviving Spouse $1,176 per month $14,112 annually

 

If you require advice regarding qualifying for or applying for VA A&A, you should consult with an experienced attorney to ensure that any planning does not also jeopardize future eligibility for ALTCS benefits. We can help.

-Megan Selvey, Esq.