Although Veteran’s Day was last month, I wanted to share some information about a valuable benefit for veterans and their surviving spouses.

If you qualify (see below) the Aid and Attendance Benefit can help cover costs you incur of long-term care at home or in a facility. As of 2014 compensation from this benefit is not dependent on service-related injuries and can provide as much as $25,000 or more in assistance, depending on your income level and whether you are married, single, or a surviving spouse of a veteran, or if you have any dependents.

Do you qualify?

According to the VA website a veteran or surviving spouse may be eligible if you:

  • Need another person to help with every day tasks like bathing, feeding, dressing, using the restroom, adjusting prosthetic devices, or if you need protection from the hazards of your daily environment, OR,
  • Are bedridden with a disability that requires you to remain in bed, except for any prescribed convalescence or treatment, OR,
  • Are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity, OR,
  • Are blind, or so nearly blind that you have corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less in both eyes, or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.

Other requirements

In addition, you must have been discharged from service under any condition other than dishonorable, served at least 90 days of active military service, one day of which was during a wartime period. Wartime veterans who entered active duty on or after September 7, 1980, must have completed at least 24 continuous months of military service or the period for which they were ordered to active duty.

How benefits are calculated

If you meet all the requirements, the VA will determine your eligibility to receive the Aid and Attendance Benefit by adjusting for unreimbursed medical expenses from your total household income, or that of your surviving spouse. If the remaining income is less than the annual income threshold for the Aid and Attendance Benefit, the VA will pay the difference between your household income and the Aid and Attendance Benefit threshold.

To find the VA office nearest you and for further information about how to apply for the Aid and Attendance Benefit, visit the VA website.

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