Aid & Attendance Letter

Veterans Benefits                                                                                                                Aid & Attendance

This Special Pension (part of the VA Improved Pension program) allows for War-time Veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing, undressing or taking care of the needs of nature to receive additional monetary benefits.  It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity.  Assisted care in an assisted living facility also qualifies. This most important benefit is overlooked by many families with Veterans or surviving spouses who need additional monies to help care for ailing parents or loved ones.  This is a "pension benefit" and is not dependent upon service-related injuries for compensation.  Most Veterans who are in need of assistance qualify for this pension.  Aid and Attendance can help pay for care in the home, nursing home or assisted living facility.  For 2012 a single veteran is eligible for up to maximum benefit of $1,732 per month ($20,784  annually), while a surviving spouse is eligible for up to $1,113 per month ($13,356 annually).  A couple is eligible for up to $2,020 per month ($24,240 annually).  To be eligible the veteran must have served during one of the following periods:

World War II: December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946

Korean War: June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955

Vietnam War: August 5, 1964 (February 28, 1961, for veterans who served “in country” before August 5, 1964), through May 7, 1975

Gulf War: August 2, 1990, through a date to be set by law of Presidential Proclamation

 

The VA must determine that your net worth is such that it will probably not support you through the remainder of your life. The VA does not include primary residence or vehicles when determining net worth. To qualify you must have a “countable income” of less than the pension amount to be eligible for all or a portion of the pension. Countable Income is the amount of income a veteran or surviving spouse receives each year including rollover interest, AFTER deducting all unreimbursed, and recurring health care expenses. This includes assisted living costs, home health care, insurance & Medicare premiums, on-going pharmacy costs and more. If you have dependents, their health care costs can also be used to reduce your countable income. However, their income must also be added into the equation.  Refer to www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/pension/vetpen.htm#3 for additional details on the Aid & Attendance pension. Application to the VA for this benefit can be made by any of the following methods:

By contacting the nearest Georgia Department of Veterans Service Field Office. (Find your nearest office by calling 404-656-5933 or, Gainesville: 311 Green Street, Gainesville, GA 33501 (770) 531-6060 (Harry Evans or Cindy Hayes)

On line at http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp; or 

At http://www4.va.gov/vaforms download and fill out VA Form 21-526, Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension.  Send the completed application and any copies of other documents to the VA regional office that serves your area of residence. Make sure you download all parts of the application as well as the instructions for filling out the forms.  If available, attach copies of dependency records (marriage & children's birth certificates).