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Phone: (941) 748-4411
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Email: info@dyefirm.com
07/09/2012 - Aid & Attendance VA Pension Program

Aid and Attendance VA Pension Program - By Patricia A. Petruff, Esq.

The purpose of the VA Improved Pension, also known as Non-Service Connected Benefits or generally referred to as "Aid and Attendance", is to provide qualified veterans income for long-term care and medical expenses. The tax-free cash benefit pays a monthly stipend to qualified beneficiaries and spouses. In order to qualify for the VA Improved Pension program, the four (4) requirements must be met:

  • The veteran needs to have served in the military. This military requirement has three (3) sub-parts:

    • The veteran needs to have served one day during a period of war.
    • The veteran must have served for a period of ninety (90) consecutive days.
    • The veteran must not have received a dishonorable discharge.

      (A spouse claiming this benefit through a deceased spouse must have been married to the deceased veteran at the time of the veteran's death and the claiming spouse must not have re-married.)

  • Medical need. The medical need requirement for the VA Improved Benefit also has three (3) subparts:

    • Any veteran over age sixty-five (65) can be awarded this improved pension.
    • A veteran that needs some assistance with activities of daily living and is confined to his dwelling may be awarded benefits.
    • A veteran that needs a protective environment to live or needs assistance with three (3) or more activities of daily living. Veterans with dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, or blindness generally meet these requirements.

  • There is an asset limit which may vary depending upon the case worker; however, generally, if a veteran's net worth not counting the primary residence is greater than $30,000 or $50,000 for married couples, the veteran probably will not meet the asset requirement for this benefit.

  • The VA also applies an income test to determine eligibility. The VA looks at the gross income before deductions and then subtracts all unreimbursed medical expenses from the gross income.

  • Anyone that knows a veteran that has the potential to qualify for the Aid and Attendance program should inform that veteran of the program's existence. For some veterans it may be helpful to determine if VA benefit planning is warranted.