Smaller Print Larger Print
800-336-4529 618-985-4529
The VA provides a variety of benefits for veterans. Elderly veterans can get as much as $1,949 a month income if they qualify for a little-known and underused benefit called “Aid and Attendance”. Learn the secrets to obtain this benefit.

Life Care Planning, Estate Protection, Disability,
VA & Medicaid Assistance Lawyers

VA Benefits for War-Time Veterans & Widows Are Not Tied To Service-Connected Disability

Caring for Our Elderly Veterans

In the month of February we celebrated Presidents Day in honor of two great Presidents: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  Both were heroes of wars fought for freedom and unity of our great country.

The United States has fought many wars since that time with the blood, sweat and tears of millions of heroic men and women.  For more than three centuries, there have been programs to care for those who fought in our wars.  In 1636 a veterans’ assistance program was established by the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony who fought with the Pequot Indians. The Pilgrims enacted a law from English law that reads, “If any man shall be sent forth as a soldier and shall return maimed, he shall be maintained competently by the colony during his life.”  In 1789 the U. S. Congress passed a pension law for disabled veterans and their dependents, and in 1811 the first medical facility for veterans was completed.  Since that time the Department of Veterans Affairs has opened a many care facilities nationwide, including the Marion VA Medical Center, Mt. Vernon Community Based Outpatient Clinic, and the St. Louis VA Medical Center-Jefferson Barracks.  In addition, state veterans’ homes have been built, including Illinois facilities in Anna, Lacily, Maintain, and Quincy.

Today, the VA provides a variety of benefits for veterans. For our elderly veterans, there is a little-known and underused benefit called “Aid and Attendance” that can pay as much as $1,949 a month in income to a qualifying veteran household.

Most veterans simply don't know about this valuable benefit. In fact, about a third of all seniors in this country, age 65 and older, could become eligible for VA Pension under the right circumstances. That's how many elderly war veterans or their surviving spouses there are in this country.

The official title of the “aid and attendance” benefit is "Pension." The reason the pension benefit is commonly called "aid and attendance" is because veterans or their surviving spouses can become eligible if they have a regular need for the aid and attendance of a caregiver or if they are housebound.  (Do not confuse “Pension” with “Compensation”, the VA benefit awarded based on a service-connected disability.)

To receive a VA Pension, a veteran need only have served 90 days on active duty, with at least one of those days during a period of war. There must be a discharge under conditions other than dishonorable. Single surviving spouses of such veterans are also eligible. If younger than 65, the veteran must be totally disabled. If age 65 and older, there is no requirement for disability. There is no age or disability requirement for a single surviving spouse.  Finally, there is no requirement that the veteran served over-seas or has a service-connected disability.

There are income requirements, but a special provision does allow household income to be reduced by 12 months worth of future, recurring medical expenses. These allowable, annualized medical expenses are such things as medical insurance premiums, ongoing prescription drug costs, out-of-pocket cost of monthly medical equipment rental, the cost of home care, the cost of paying adult children to provide care, the cost of adult day services, the cost of assisted living, and the cost of a nursing home facility. These are all considered medical costs and they can be deducted from household income to qualify for a VA Pension

In many cases, family members are sacrificing dearly to take care of their loved ones at-home.  Yet, they don’t know that the VA will pay up to $1,949 per month to members of the family to take care of the veteran, the veteran couple, or the surviving spouse at-home.  If the arrangement is set up “just right” and with a written contract, the family members can receive some money from the government for their sacrifice.

The secret for receiving a successful VA pension award is not in filling out the form but in knowing what documents and evidence must be submitted with the application.  Knowing the secrets for a successful award is the most important aspect of the battle.  An elder law attorney who is accredited by the VA to represent veterans understands how to maximize the benefit and avoid a denial. The VA accredited elder law attorney also can provide strategies for reallocating assets to allow for the best possible accommodation of assets for beneficiaries  –  thus avoiding or reducing taxes, family disputes, and Medicaid penalties (should the veteran or spouse eventually need nursing home care).

View the article online as published in the March 2010 edition of the Southern Business Journal.


Contact Us

Name *

Phone *

Email *

Tell us more *


Physical Address
1808 Clark Street, Carterville, Illinois 62918
Phone: 618-985-4529
Toll Free: 800-336-4529
Get Directions

Mailing Address
1808 Clark Street
Carterville, Illinois 62918
Phone: (618) 985-4529
Get Directions

Offices

Physical Address
1808 Clark Street, Carterville, Illinois 62918
Phone: 618-985-4529
Toll Free: 800-336-4529

Mailing Address
1808 Clark Street
Carterville, Illinois 62918
Phone: (618) 985-4529