At The Zimmerman Law Firm, we greatly respect what our military veterans have done for us.
Many men and women in Central Texas have served our country. Whether they served at Ft. Hood or anywhere else around the world, it is our duty to return that service to our veterans nationwide.
As veterans age, they may require long-term care services to maintain their health and well-being. However, these services can be expensive and difficult to afford, particularly for those with limited income and resources.
Fortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers programs called Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits that provide financial assistance to eligible veterans and their spouses who need help with activities of daily living.
These tax-free benefits can be used to pay for nursing care, assisted living services, and in-home caregivers, allowing veterans to receive the care they need without causing undue financial hardship.
You or your spouse might be eligible for these programs if you served at least 90 days of active duty, with at least one day served during a wartime period.
To be eligible for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits, you or your spouse must have qualifying military service and meet certain medical and financial requirements.
Military Service Requirements
First, you or your spouse must have served at least 90 days on active duty (24 months if after September 7, 1980), with at least one day served during a wartime period.
Under current law, the VA recognizes the following wartime periods:
- Mexican Border period (May 9, 1916, to April 5, 1917, for Veterans who served in Mexico, on its borders, or in adjacent waters),
- World War I (April 6, 1917, to November 11, 1918),
- World War II (December 7, 1941, to December 31, 1946),
- Korean conflict (June 27, 1950, to January 31, 1955),
- Vietnam War era (November 1, 1955, to May 7, 1975 for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period, otherwise August 5, 1964, to May 7, 1975), and
- Gulf War (August 2, 1990, through a future date to be set by law or presidential proclamation).
In addition, the veteran must have been granted either an honorable discharge or one that’s classified as other than dishonorable.
Second, you must require the assistance of another person (which may include a family member or neighbor) with at least two activities of daily living or be confined to your home due to a disability.
Finally, your annual income plus your countable assets must be less than the net worth thresholds set annually by the VA.
Non-countable resources include your residential homestead (up to two acres), your vehicle, and your household furnishings and personal effects.
Additionally, in order to get the full benefit amount, your cost of care must exceed your monthly income (less certain deductions).
How to Apply
To apply for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits, veterans or their surviving spouses must complete and submit an application to the VA.
The application requires detailed information about the veteran’s military service, medical history, income, and assets, as well as documentation to support the application.
If you are considering applying for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits, you should consider submitting an intent to file in advance to give yourself more time to gather all the necessary documentation and evidence to support your application.
Submitting an intent to file does not require you to file a complete application for benefits immediately. Instead, it provides you with up to one year to submit a complete application while also establishing an effective date for your benefits.
This means that if you submit an intent to file and later submit a complete application within the one-year timeframe, the VA can potentially pay retroactive benefits from the date you submitted the intent to file.
The processing time for an application for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as the complexity of the application, the volume of applications being processed, and the specific VA regional office processing the application.
In general, the VA aims to process applications within 125 days, which is around four months, from the date of receipt of a complete application.
It is important to note that some applications may take longer to process if additional documentation or information is needed or if there are any complications or delays in processing the application.
Contact a VA-Accredited Elder Law Attorney Today
If you believe that you or your spouse may be eligible for this program, contact our VA-accredited attorneys today.
We can help you determine whether VA Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits are right for you, navigate the application process and ensure that you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.
VA Aid and Benfits FAQ
VA Aid and Attendance is a benefit program offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that provides financial assistance to veterans and their spouses who require the Aid and Attendance of another person to perform daily activities or are housebound.
Eligibility for VA Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit is based on several factors, including a veteran’s service record, disability status, income, and assets. Generally, to be eligible, a veteran must have served on active duty for at least 90 days, with at least one day of service during a period of wartime.
The documents needed for a VA Aid and Attendance or Housebound Pension Benefits application include discharge papers (DD214), income and asset information, medical records, and a completed application form. Additional documentation may be required depending on the individual circumstances.