The Aid & Attendance pension is a wonderful benefit to veterans, spouses, and widows of qualified veterans. Though the process for qualification can often appear cumbersome to families, there is no reason to pay someone to help fill out the Aid and Attendance Benefit.
In fact, the Veteran’s Administration prohibits any agency or entity for charging a fee to apply for the Aid & Attendance.
To qualify for the Aid & Attendance benefit, the VA is going to evaluate three qualifying categories:
- Active service dates: The veteran was active for at least 90 days of duty and at least one day during a major active combat engagement–currently defined as World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or the Gulf War.
- The need for assistance: The veteran or spouse has the need for assistance with at least two Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) These activities include both homemaking and personal care such as cooking, cleaning, transportation, bathing, medication reminders, companionship, and respite care.
- Financial eligibility: The VA will assess your financial qualification based upon both assets and annual income, apart from one primary residence and one primary vehicle. Circumstances vary for veterans and spouses. Please consult a local care agency to determine if you or your loved one would be a good candidate for the Aid & Attendance benefit.
You will need to gather the following documents for the Aid & Attendance benefit:
- Discharge Papers (DD214)
- Social Security Statement Letter or 1099 SSA
- If you are receiving/applied for VA money- the award letter or denial letter
- Pension letter(s)
- Bank Statement(s) ALL PAGES
- Asset Statements or 1099 Interest
- Marriage Certificate(s)
- Death Certificate
There are certain circumstances when you may want to have a financial planner or an estate planning attorney involved to help become qualified for the Aid & Attendance benefit. The transferal of assets to certain trust funds could help a veteran or spouse to become qualified. However, the VA has instituted a three year look-back period. These professional resources also cannot charge to apply for the actual application to Aid & Attendance. Still, they may charge additional fees for other services provided.
Although it may appear daunting, the Aid & Attendance benefit is well worth the effort. It will be a life-long benefit that will help you or your loved one to remain independent in the comforts of home as long as in-home care is needed.