Veterans pension, sometimes called “Aid and Attendance” is an important benefit for wartime veterans and their surviving spouses. Dennis Toman explains the basic qualification requirements, and how this benefit can help.
There is a benefit available to veterans and spouses of deceased veterans called aid in attendance. Sometimes it’s called veteran’s pension.
Now it’s important to understand that this is a benefit that helps a veteran who served during a war time period; that could be World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, or Persian Gulf War. Then they must have at least one day of active duty during that war time period, 90 days of consecutive active duty altogether, and a not dishonorable discharge.
In that situation, there is a benefit available that based upon the veteran’s income, and based upon the veteran’s assets that could be worth, for a married couple, up to about $2,000 per month. For a single veteran, it could be worth about $1700 per month, and for the surviving spouse of the deceased war time veteran, over $1100 a month.
This is money that is available to the veteran, or to the veteran’s surviving spouse, tax-free, to help pay for the cost of care at home or an assisted living or in a nursing home.
Now something that’s very important to understand about this veteran’s benefit is you need to be careful when you’re getting advice about it, when you’re planning for it, because so often, even though the benefit is a tremendous help for home care and assisted living care, it really will not help to cover the cost of care in the nursing home. So whoever you get advice from, make sure that they understand both these veteran’s benefits as well as Medicaid.
But for many veterans, this is a hidden benefit; they don’t even know that it’s available. And it’s even worse for the surviving spouses. It’s estimated that six out of seven of the World War II widows don’t know about this benefit that could be using it. So it’s an important thing that the veteran or the veteran’s spouse needs to know about and it can be a tremendous help for paying for this type of care.
Please note: the Aid and Attendance benefit number increase over time. Also, the qualification rules are subject to change.