Veteran Administration's Aid and Attendance Pension - This is a wonderful program for our veterans and their surviving spouses. The maximum monthly amount for the pension in 2015 is $1,149 per month for a surviving spouse of a veteran,$1,406 if a veteran is well but the spouse is ill, $1,788 per month for a single veteran and $2,120 per month for a veteran with a spouse where the veteran needs assistance. Partial awards are also granted.
We will only be addressing the non-service connected Aid and Attendance pension on this website.
The Service Requirement - a veteran who served at least 90* days with 1 day during a period of war. Veterans who were dishonorably discharged are not eligible. For this pension, the veteran must have served at least 1 day during a period of war. They do NOT have to have seen combat, been injured or left the United States to be eligible. For example, someone in the Coast Guard, stationed in Massachusetts who was never injured would meet the service requirement for this benefit. * - after September 7, 1980 required service period is usually 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty.
The Medical Requirement - As the name of the Pension Aid and Attendance implies, the applicant does need the Attendance of another person with activities of daily living.
If the veteran or his surviving spouse meets the service and attendance criteria, the remaining criteria are financial in nature.
Financial Criteria for VA’s Aid and Attendance Benefit The financial criteria is a two-pronged test, you must pass both: Test 1 - Monthly Financial Needs Test
Monthly Income From All Sources
a. 5% of the Total Maximum Monthly Pension Applied for – see Rate Table
b. Monthly Unreimbursed Medical Expenses
Total “Income” for purposes of the Test
If the Total is $0 or negative, the indication on the monthly test is that you should receive the maximum monthly pension. If it is a positive number but less than the maximum monthly pension, you may be entitled to a partial award.
And best of all, 100% of what you pay to a nursing home or for homecare and at least 75% of what you pay to an Assisted Living is considered a Monthly Medical Expense. As long as you are paying for it, and you are not being reimbursed for the expense, you can deduct it to meet this test.
Test 2 - Asset Test What are your total Assets excluding your home & car? On www.va.gov, they give you an example of the maximum amount of asset you can have - $80,000 for a married couple and $60,000 for a single person. However, it is just that, AN EXAMPLE. The actual amount of assets you can have can be higher or lower. Be aware that although the VA does reserves the right to deny benefits based on “Excessive Net Worth”, it is free to apply and you can inform the VA of your declining assets.
Additional Rules for a Surviving Spouse of a Veteran To be a surviving spouse, you must have been married to the veteran at the time of his death. If a surviving spouse of a veteran subsequently remarried and divorced the second spouse, as long as that divorce was finalized pre Nov 1, 1990, you can claim benefits under the first spouses service.
Ill Spouse of a Well Veteran - What if the Veteran is well and driving but the spouse has large medical expenses? While its not Aid and Attendance, there is a pension available for this situation. The maximum award in 2012 is $1,336. The criteria are the same as for Aid and Attendance except it is solely based on the financial situation of the married couple (i.e. No requirement for the veteran to need the attendance of another person).
For representation before the VA, ERBC refers to Servaes Consulting Group, LLC so you can be assisted by a VA Accredited Agent.
Neither Elder Resource Benefits Consulting nor the Servaes Consulting Group, LLC is affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs or any other government agency. Elder Resource Benefits Consulting and the Servaes Consulting Group, LLC are not Veterans Services Organizations.