Which Veterans Can Benefit Most From Aid and Attendance Benefits, and Why

Michigan veterans need to know which benefits they qualify for and how to access them. Aid and Attendance benefits are one of the most underused benefits available.

What Is This Benefit

The Aid and Attendance benefit is also known as a “pension.” The pension covers fees associated with professional home care and long-term care and medical costs. It is intended to support disabled and low-income veterans. It will pay for

  • In-Home Care – assistance with bathing, dressing, feeding etc.
  • Nursing Home Care – if the patient does not qualify for Medicaid
  • Other long-term and recurrent medical costs not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or another form of coverage

 

Who Can Benefit

The benefit is available to veterans (or their surviving spouse) if the Veterans Administration (VA) rates them as needing attendant care in the home due to disability not caused by their active duty service. Pensions are granted only if

  • The veteran served in active duty, and
  • The veteran has an ongoing need for in-home care and aid, and/or
  • The veteran has a low household income.

There are actually two types of pensions and therefore two types of qualifying factors. Any veteran who served in active duty and has a need for in-home care due to being housebound or having a disability not caused during their active duty can apply and be ranked, or certified, by the VA for the pension. Veterans who served active duty and are low income but unable to be certified as disabled by the VA may also qualify for the pension in a lower amount.

Who Should Apply

The VA stated Michigan applicants for this benefit are low. It is believed there is confusion amongst veterans and among VA staff when giving information about who may qualify. The VA states most active duty veterans should qualify for some amount of a pension. Two of the most common misperceptions are

  • It is only available to low income veterans. – Veterans with a higher income do not realize they may qualify due to their certified rating and having high home care and medical costs.
  • Significant savings or investments disqualify a veteran. – Veterans can give away some of their assets to meet the income guidelines. This also neglects to note veterans who qualify due to disability and home-care or nursing home costs rather than a low income.

Low income veterans are the most frequent applicants. Most higher income veterans do not realize this is even an option for them and how it may help with their expensive long-term care costs. In 2007, the VA estimated that on a national level about 33% of the over 65 population should qualify for the benefit but only 4.7% of the them were actually receiving it in 2005.

All Michigan veterans over 65 who served in active duty should apply for the Aid and Attendance benefit.

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.