When a family begins searching for senior living for an aging loved one, they are often unaware of how many options there are for financing care. While assisted living is a cost-effective solution, it is one that some of our nation’s veterans may have difficulty affording. Many veterans and their surviving spouses are unaware of a veteran’s benefit for senior housing. It is called the Aid & Attendance Benefit.
For an older adult who served in one of this country’s military branches and their surviving spouse, the veterans’ benefits for assisted living can help bridge the gap in financing care.
But not every veteran or spouse is eligible. And navigating your way through the application process can be a bit challenging. We created this quick guide to answer your questions and help you better understand the process.
Who is Eligible for Assistance through the Aid & Attendance Benefit?
There are a variety of criteria and conditions the Veteran’s Administration will consider when determining if a veteran and their spouse are eligible for assisted living benefits. They include:
1. The first requirement a veteran must meet is to have served at least ninety days of active military service. At least one day of their service must have been during an acknowledged period of war.
The Veteran’s Administration designated the following wars and conflicts as ones that make a veteran and/or their spouse eligible:
- 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)
2. The veteran must also meet at least one of the following criteria to receive senior care benefits:
- Age 65 or older, OR
- Totally and permanently disabled, OR
- A patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, OR
- Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, OR
- Receiving Supplemental Security Income
If the veteran meets these two requirements, the next step is for the veteran or their surviving spouse to pass the yearly family income and net worth standard. These guidelines are established each year by Congress.
Cost Benefits: Veterans & Their Spouses
If the veteran is deemed eligible, the maximum awards can be significant. In 2017, veterans and their spouses’ benefits for assisted living can be as much as:
- Married Veteran: $2,127 per month
- Married Vet (spouse needs care): $1,408 per month
- Single Veteran: $1,794 per month
- Surviving Spouse (no dependents): $1,153 per month
The teams at Elmcroft Senior Living communities know the Aid & Attendance Benefit well. We’ll be glad to answer any questions you might have or connect you with professionals who can help with the application process!