What is the Aid and Attendance Benefit for Veterans?

  • October 16, 2019

When it comes to financing senior care, older adults are often unaware of how many financial options there are that can help. From life-settlement funds to bridge loans, there are a variety of programs designed to make it easier to finance senior care. One benefit that is often overlooked was created for veterans and their surviving spouses. It is referred to as the Aid and Attendance Benefit.

What is Aid and Attendance?

This benefit, managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, provides financial support to veterans to assist with the costs of long-term care. The purpose of this program is to ensure that veterans who served our nation receive the care they need.

Aid and Attendance support is available only to veterans and surviving spouses who meet eligibility requirements. The veteran needs to have served 90 days of active-duty service with at least one day during a recognized period of war. There are other eligibility requirements that must also be met:

  • Age or disability: To receive this pension, a veteran must be at least 65-years-old or be totally and permanently disabled. Seniors who live in a nursing home or receive skilled nursing care may be eligible, as can veterans who are receiving Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).
  • Physical condition: The veteran and/or their surviving spouse must also meet one of these conditions to be eligible:
    • Be bedridden
    • Live in a nursing home due to mental or physical limitations
    • Be blind or nearly blind
    • Require the aid of another person to perform everyday living tasks (e.g., dressing, bathing, feeding, toileting)

Commonly Asked Questions about Aid and Attendance

Q: Is this benefit different than the monthly pension for veterans?

A: Yes. This benefit is separate from and in addition to a veteran’s monthly pension and disability compensation.

Q: How does a veteran or surviving spouse apply for this benefit? Can you apply in person?

A: Veterans or a surviving spouse can apply through the same regional Veterans Affairs office where they filed a claim for their VA pension or by submitting forms to the Pension Management Center for their state. (Find the Pension Management Center that serves the senior’s state here.)

Q: Is the funding substantial enough to take time to complete all of these forms?

A: Depending on their personal situation, the veteran or their spouse may qualify for significant assistance. Awards in 2019 can range from $1,153 for a surviving spouse to $2,127 for a married veteran.

Download our Senior Living Financing Guide

Because we understand how confusing senior living financing options can be, we created a resource to help. Download the Five Star Senior Living Financing Guide at no cost. It covers programs ranging from Aid and Attendance to using bridge loans. If you have specific questions about senior living financing, we also invite you to call us at 617-796-8387. One of our experienced team members will be happy to assist you!


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