As we prepare to honor our veterans on November 11th, we wanted to take time to share important information about veterans benefits for assisted living with their adult children and family caregivers. Families of older adults are often surprised to learn that the Veterans Administration has a program that can help provide financial assistance for senior care for a veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran. The program is known as the Aid & Attendance Benefit. It is part of a veteran’s pension.
In 2014 a veteran is eligible to receive up to $1,758 per month to help pay for care, and their surviving spouse is eligible for up to $1,130 per month. If a veteran and their spouse both need care, they are eligible for up to $2,085 per month. If a veteran’s spouse is the only one who requires assistance, they can receive up to $1,380 per month. The veteran must first meet the benefit eligibility guidelines established by the Veteran’s Administration.
Determining Aid & Attendance Benefit Eligibility for Veterans
To be considered for veterans benefits for assisted living, the veteran first needs to have served a minimum of ninety days of active military service with at least one day during a period of war. The VA defines wartime periods as:
- World War I (April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918)
- World War II (December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946)
- Korean conflict (June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955)
- Vietnam era (February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975)
- Gulf War (August 2, 1990 – through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation)
Once that criterion is satisfied, the veteran is then required to meet one of the following conditions:
- You require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment
- You are bedridden, in that your disability or disabilities requires that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment
- You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity
- Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less
The last criterion the veteran must meet is financial eligibility. The veteran’s yearly combined family income and net worth must be within guidelines established each year by Congress. How to Calculate Veterans Pensions can help you make that determination.
Watch the Enhanced Veterans Benefit Video
Finally, this video presented by the Veterans Administration can give you a quick but comprehensive overview of the veteran benefits for assisted living and home care program.