Aid and Attendance: Gov’t Benefit for Aging Veterans and Spouses

Miller|Conway cares about our aging clients.  As part of our Elder Law and Estate Planning practice group we explore all available avenues to ensure that our clients are treated fairly and that they receive benefits to which they are entitled. 

The Veterans Administration (“VA”) offers the Aid and Attendance program as part of an improved pension benefit that is almost entirely unknown to both veterans and the general public.  Despite its relative unknown status, the improved pension has been an entitlement for 58 years.  According to VeteranAid.org, Aid and Attendance allows Veterans and their surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person for assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, undressing, medication dosing and/or help in the bathroom  to receive additional monetary benefits.  The program also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity.  It is important to note that even assisted care in an assisted living facility qualifies under Aid and Attendance. 

As a pension benefit, Aid and Attendance is not dependent upon service-related injuries for compensation.  Veterans are eligible for up to $1,632 per month, while a surviving spouse is eligible for up to $1,055 per month. A couple is eligible for up to $1,949 per month (statistics are current as of December 1, 2009).