Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Pension Eligibility Requirements

Pension Summary

The VA’s non-service connected disability – Aid and Attendance pension – was designed to assist wartime veterans and their surviving spouses with the purchase of necessary and recurring non-reimbursed health and homecare expenses.

Included in the VA definition of non-reimbursed expenses are:  private health care premiums, continence supplies, diabetic supplies, some equipment rental expenses and homecare expenses.  (Homecare includes services such as assistance with cooking, light housekeeping, transportation, errands, grocery shopping, providing medication reminders, and providing supervision while dressing and grooming.)

Maximum Pension Amounts*

(*subject to change based on annual adjustments in social security)

  • Veteran:  $1,757.00 per month
  • Surviving Spouse:  $1,129.00 per month
  • Veteran and Spouse:  $2,084.00 per month
  • Veteran and Veteran Spouse: $2,760.00 per month

Pension Eligibility

To qualify for this pension, the veteran…

  • Must have been honorably discharged.
  • Must have served a minimum of 90 days of active military duty.
  • Must have served a minimum of 1 (one) day during wartime regardless of location.

To qualify, the applicant, whether the veteran or surviving spouse…

  • Must own less than $80,000 in liquid assets (bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds, etc.)
  • A required medical diagnosis that indicates he/she needs regular assistance with “activities of daily living”.

This is determined on an individual basis through your Primary Care Physician and includes any of the following conditions:

  • Difficulties with ambulation, inability to drive, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, previous stroke activity, severe arthritis, breathing/lung disease, visual problems, Parkinson’s disease or severe osteoporosis.

Each case will be determined on an individual basis and is not limited to the above-stated conditions.

Income eligibility is based upon a new combination of your monthly income (excluding VA pension, Social Security Supplements and welfare payments), along with recurring non-reimbursed medical expenses – including home care services.

Within the Veterans Administration’s vast federal, medical, and state benefit offerings, there are a hand full of benefits which specifically help veterans remain in their homes as they age.  I have highlighted a few below.  Each/all may have specific and unique eligibility and application requirements not detailed in these summaries:

Covers “non-service connected disabilities”, and was designed to assist wartime veterans and their surviving spouses with the purchase of necessary non-reimbursed health and home care expenses.  This is a federal pension benefit for eligible veterans or surviving spouses.  Financial assistance may cover professional homecare services such as assistance with cooking, light housekeeping, transportation, errands, grocery shopping, providing medication reminders, and providing supervision while dressing and grooming.

Available in Massachusetts through the VA medical system, In-Home Respite Care is available for those family members caring for veterans (of any age) in an effort to relieve the care burden and stress of care giving.  There are no financial requirements for this program.  This program provides assistance, and relief, to eligible family care providers who are responsible for the care of veterans at home by paying for qualified professional homecare agencies.  The VA will pay for up to 30 days per calendar year of “respite care”.  Per VA specifications, “one day” of respite care service equates to 6 hours.

The Military Friends Foundation offers financial assistance to eligible families who have faced hardships related to active service.  The Military Friends Foundation is a non-profit organization designed to assist eligible Massachusetts National Guard and Reserve families facing financial hardships related to a deployment or extended activation.

Program (sometimes referred to as Cash and Counseling for Veterans, or also known as “Independence Plus”) is designed to allow veterans who are potential candidates for nursing home placement to receive that level of care in their homes.  The program provides veterans with a budget and allows them to choose their own care providers in place of receiving care services from the VA health care system.  In some cases, family members of the veteran can be paid for the care they provide.  This allows veterans to prioritize their own care needs, select their own care providers, and act as an employer instead of receiving nursing home care from the VA directly.  A substantial amount of effort is required of the veteran and their family in the determination of care requirements, selection of providers and ongoing management of the care services.  However, for many families the independence to choose care providers, the potential to pay family members for their assistance, and the ability for the veteran to continue living at home make participation in this program well worth the effort.  (Note:  Veterans enrolled in Independence plus are not eligible for Medicaid.)

During a medical emergency, Veterans may seek medical care from within their community and VA may pay for the emergency care in certain cases.  When/if emergency care is provided to a Veteran, the family or care provider should notify the local VA health Care Facility as soon as possible.  The VA will determine what charges are eligible to be paid based on the individual Veteran’s specific circumstances and eligibility.

VA home loans are available from qualified lenders.  Along with the Certificate of Eligibility, loan applicants will need to document their credit, savings and employment information.  VA Home Loans are available for a variety of purposes including building, altering, or repairing a home; refinancing an existing home loan; buying a manufactured home with or without a lot; buying and improving a manufactured home lot; and installing a solar heating or cooling system or other weatherization improvements.