Aid and attendance, or A&A, is a form of pension that is designed to help veterans who need assisted living by reducing the cost of that care for themselves and also for surviving spouses. Qualifying for A&A depends on serving during wartime: to qualify, a veteran needs to have at least 90 days of active duty, where at least one of those days having begun or ended during a period of war as defined by Congress. This is important, because A&A is just one of several kinds of benefits that are only available to veterans who have served during wartime. The two most recent conflicts that Congress has declared to count as official wartime are the Persian Gulf War and the Vietnam War.
There are two major forms of qualification aside from meeting the service time requirement: medical and financial. The medical qualification requires that the veteran or their surviving spouse need assistance from another person to complete their activities of daily living, such as eating and dressing. The blind, residents of nursing homes, and residents of assisted living facilities meet this qualification. The proof of this qualification comes from filing a form called DD-214 along with documentation of a medical examination and information about the person in question’s financial information.
The financial information is necessary because there is a financial cutoff to qualify for A&A. Specifically, the applicant, whether they are the veteran or their surviving spouse, needs to have less than $80,000 in total assets not including their house and car.
After qualifying and filing all of the appropriate paperwork, it can take a significant amount of time before the benefits get processed. Frequently, it takes as long as 8 to 10 months, and it can get longer in less efficient VA centers or at times of higher demand. That means the veteran and their family might have to cover the costs of assisted living out of their own pocket. The benefits do get backdated, so if the veteran or spouse is found to qualify, they receive benefits to cover that gap of time between their application and approval.
These benefits are meant to cover the cost of living with the support of an in-home aid or assisted living facility of some kind. Aid and attendance benefits are available to any veteran in the Detroit MI area who has served 90 days with at least one during wartime and meets the medical and financial qualifications. There is no requirement about where the service needs to have taken place- as long as it was active duty, it suffices. Veterans or their spouses who obtain these benefits then have more money to spend on other necessities, such as autobody work in the Detroit MI area, because the pension covers some or all of the cost of assisted living. Consider applying for A&A as soon as you qualify, because it can take a long time for the VA to approve any given application, no matter how simple the case is.
If you are a veteran, or you have a loved one who is, and you’re looking for coverage and financial support, USA War Vet is here for you. Call us at 1-800-850-5504 or visit us at www.usawarvet.org to learn more.