Category - VA Aid and Attendance

Using VA Aid and Attendance for Assisted Living

Many Veterans are unaware that they may qualify for an increased monthly pension to help pay for assisted living if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • 1-30-17-va-aid-and-alYou need help with activities of daily living;
  • You are bedridden;
  • Your vision is limited (5/200 visual acuity or less) in both eyes;
  • You are a patient in a nursing home due to physical or mental incapacity

Anyone that was not previously approved to receive a pension due to their financial stability and now requires assisted living may possibly be able to receive their pension. VA Aid & Attendance can assist in paying for home care, nursing care, assisted living community and more.

When an Alzheimer’s patient needs care the physician’s statement must include that the patients care must be in a protected environment; this allows room and board to be included in the amount to be received.

In each case of assistance the director of the facility where the Veteran is placed must sign a statement verifying the type of care that is being received. You will want to use the form entitled “Care Provider Report” that you can find at www.veteransaidbenefit.org/va_forms.htm or a form similar to this when applying for benefits. You will also want to include a copy of the contract of services, invoices and statements from the facility with the form.

To learn more or receive assistance in the application process please reach out to us at Legal Awareness for Seniors.

Can the Spouse of a Veteran Receive VA Aid and Attendance?

Spouse of VeteranThe answer is yes. Below are the following who may qualify for  VA Aid and Attendance:

  • If the Veteran is ill
  • If the Veteran is healthy, but the spouse is ill
  • If the Veteran is deceased and the surviving spouse is ill

There are other requirements that must also be met (these were discussed in a previous blog, but I will list them again).

  • The veteran must have been honorably discharged
  • Served 90 days or more of active service with at least 1 day during a period of war or if entered active duty after September 7, 1980 they must have served at least 24 months and/or completed their entire tour of active duty
  • Has income below the above stated pension amounts (varies per year)
  • Has assets below the allowed limits (varies per year)
  • Require aid to perform basic daily activities (ie. Dressing, bathing, toileting, etc.) OR
  • Living in a nursing home OR
  • Unable to see 5/200 or less in both eyes OR
  • Bedridden

In order to qualify for VA Aid and Attendance you must fill out the proper forms, complete a medical evaluation signed by the doctor, and submit other items requested by the paperwork. You may want to consult a professional to assist in the process for assurance.

VA Aid and Attendance Eligibility Hints

If you reach the VA Aid and Attendance eligibility you can qualify for the following amounts (as of 2016):

  • John Basilone Parade in Raritan, NJ$1,788 for a single Veteran
  • $2,120 for a Veteran and their spouse
  • $1,149 for a surviving spouse of a Veteran
  • $1,406 for a Veteran with a sick spouse

In order to reach the maximum benefits, the veteran must have an income of $0 per month. There are a few qualifiers:

  • The veteran must have been honorably discharged
  • Served 90 days or more of active service with at least 1 day during a period of war or if entered active duty after September 7, 1980 they must have served at least 24 months and/or completed their entire tour of active duty
  • Has income below the above stated pension amounts (varies per year)
  • Has assets below the allowed limits (varies per year)

If you are eligible for the above pension you may also qualify for an increase in the pension if you have one of the following:

  • Require aid to perform basic daily activities (ie. Dressing, bathing, toileting, etc.)
  • Living in a nursing home
  • Unable to see 5/200 or less in both eyes
  • Bedridden

In order to qualify for the added pension amount you must fill out the proper forms, complete a medical evaluation signed by the doctor, along with other items requested by the paperwork. You may want to consult a professional to assist in the process for assurance.

How Do I Pay For Assisted Living?

When it comes time for your loved one to be in assisted living it can be a shock at the expenses that are involved in the day to day care. There are three ways that you can pay for assisted living.Pay for Assisted Living

  1. King Midas Approach (Private Pay)
  2. Long Term Care Insurance
  3. Benefits
    1. ALTCS (Medicaid)
    2. VA Aid & Attendance

King Midas Approach

This is also known as private pay. This can be the simplest route, but the cost of assisted living can quickly eat up any savings, 401K’s, IRA’s and other investments in your portfolio. Often paying out of pocket can only last for so long.

Long Term Care Insurance

Having this insurance can be very beneficial when paying for assisted living. However, this must be set up well before you are in need of assisted living. The cost of the insurance can vary as well and is usually based on your age, the amount the policy will pay per day, the maximum amount of years that will be covered, and any other optional benefits you choose. The insurance company may require medical underwriting as well.

It is very common for insurance companies to initially decline payment. In many cases you or the staff at the facility must contact the insurance company to discuss the situation in order to get approval. Most insurance companies will require that you will need help in at least two areas of daily living (such as bathing, dressing, toileting, walking, transferring from the bed to a chair, eating, etc).

Benefits: ALTCS

ALTCS is Arizona’s version of Medicaid (Arizona Long-Term Care System). In order to qualify for ALTCS you must meet asset, income and medical eligibility requirements. There are ways to strategically plan for ALTCS before applying and in so doing save substantial money.

Benefits: VA Aid and Attendance Pension

VA Aid and Attendance is for veterans that are in need of assistance. Just like with ALTCS you must meet certain requirements in order to qualify. This is monetary assistance that is given in order to supplement the cost of assisted living. There are also ways to strategically plan for this Pension before applying.

What is VA Aid and Attendance?

US_Flag_BacklitOne in two seniors at or above the age of 65 years old can expect to go into some type of assisted living. Eldercare is probably the most unexpected and catastrophic event that can happen to a senior. This can be a drain on maintaining the lifestyle that they are accustomed.

Many veterans are unaware that they may qualify for monetary payment to assist in covering the costs of eldercare. These benefits are paid in addition to the monthly Pension they receive. To qualify for aid and attendance you must:

• Be age 65 or older;
• Have had an honorable or general discharge from the military;
• Have served at least 90 days of active Federal duty with at least one day during a period of conflict;
• Have a documented medical condition requiring care;
• Meet income and countable asset criteria

Some believe or have even been told that they have too much money in order to qualify for this Pension. There are ways to rearrange your assets in order to be able to qualify for this assistance. Prior to completing the application for VA Aid and Attendance it is wise to meet with a consultant that can help realign assets and complete the necessary estate planning documents.

This Pension does not have to be used just at a nursing facility or assisted living facility. It can be used to receive long term care in your home. Approximately 70% to 80% of all long term care is being provided for in the home. Not only this, but the VA will allow veteran’s households to deduct the annual cost of paying any person (including family members and friends) when calculating for Pension benefits as long as there is a caregiver agreement in place.

There are many different strategies that can be accomplished in order to qualify for VA Aid and Attendance. They vary according to each person’s specific situation. It is best to meet with a consultant to find the best avenue in order for you to qualify for this Pension.