Seniors looking to move into assisted living communities often seek out resources that can help them fund the transition to a comprehensive care facility. Although sources such as Medicare and Medicaid may be well-known, other benefits that could help older people with specific backgrounds are often under-utilized due to a lack of awareness.
Veterans, for instance, may not know about certain pensions and other elderly veteran benefits that can support them in financing their move to assisted living. According to The New York Times, the Department of Veterans Affairs offers support for retired service members known as the Aid and Attendance and Housebound Improved Pension benefit. The news source reported that the veterans assisted living benefits aid and attendance award can fund up to $2,019 per month for veterans living with a spouse, and $1,094 monthly for the widow of a veteran.
Because awareness of elderly veterans benefit is so limited, however, the majority of the service members and spouses who qualify for the award do not take advantage of it. According to the news source, of the 1.7 million World War II veterans who were eligible in 2011, only 38,076 veterans and 38,685 spouses benefited from the pension.
Experts have pointed to a lack of awareness of assisted living veterans aid as the reason that many people do not take advantage of the funds available. Even those individuals who qualify may not be notified of their status by local Veterans Affairs offices that have not heard of it. According to the news source, to be a recipient of the award, veterans must be over the age of 65 and have served at least one day of the 90-day minimum military service in wartime. They must also be in need or some physical care in order to complete day-to-day needs.
Senior military veterans who seek financial aid for assisted living may want to consult their local VA office and investigate themselves as to how they can apply for the funds.