Applying for VA Aid and Attendance benefits

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2021 | Estate planning

Like other aging seniors, military veterans sometimes need long-term care in their golden years. Such care often comes with substantial costs, however. For eligible wartime military veterans, receiving benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ pension program may aid them in covering the expense of the care they need.

Some veterans qualify for aid and attendance pension, or a higher monthly payment amount.

How do veterans receive aid and attendance benefits?

According to the VA, military veterans seeking aid and attendance benefits must submit the appropriate form by mail or in person. To qualify for such assistance, former service members must receive a VA pension and meet one of the following requirements:

  • The need to stay in bed or spend most of the day in bed because of illness
  • The need to live in a nursing home because of disability-related incapacity
  • The need for assistance with daily activities such as feeding, dressing and bathing

Having limited eyesight may also qualify wartime veterans for aid and attendance benefits.

How long does it take for a decision?

The processing time for aid and attendance benefit applications depends on several factors. Some claims receive priority processing. However, the department processes most claims in the order they come in.

How much do veterans receive for aid and attendance pensions?

According to the VA, pension rates for military veterans vary based on their countable income and a set limit. Veterans’ countable income refers to how much they earn each year, including retirement payments, investment payments, Social Security Disability benefits and other such sources. Congress sets the maximum annual pension rate or MAPR. The MAPR veterans qualify for depends on whether they are married to another qualifying veteran, their number of dependents and other factors.

Military servicemembers give a lot to their country. In return, they may receive benefits such as a pension, which may ensure they receive the assistance and care they need when they can no longer provide it for themselves.