As a proud veteran or family member, the sacrifices made to our country should be honored. And senior retirees deserve to live a secure and safe future.
Every dollar counts. And applying for the pension while getting all the assistance you need will be the difference between a difficult retirement and one in which you can make the most out of your golden years.
If you want to maximize your assistance, learn how you could receive thousands in monthly aid.
Benefits for Senior Retirees
Veterans can claim the VA’s many benefits and assistance programs throughout their lives.
But times change, and so do needs.
Veteran retirees have growing medical requirements. That’s why the VA created the Aid and Attendance benefit to help.
Aid and Attendance is available to both veterans and their surviving spouses. They are organized into the following categories:
1. Veterans Pension
Veterans Pension is the “Aid and Attendance” benefit available to single or married veterans. It is intended to help with medical expenses as senior citizens age or as veterans live with severe disabilities.
2. Survivors Pension
The Survivors Pension, also known as the Death Pension, is the Aid and Attendance benefit offered to the unmarried widows of veterans and eligible children.
Aid and Attendance for Veteran Retirees
Senior retirees can take advantage of Aid and Attendance if they have serious medical needs – likely requiring continuous aid from a third party.
The VA uses Activities of Daily Living as the foundation to determine the conditions and needs of the veteran.
Activities of Daily Living (ADL) include many essential criteria that a person needs to live comfortably and safely, like eating, showering, drinking, ambulating, transferring, toileting, and personal hygiene (or reminders for it).
If the veteran needs a third party to perform some of these tasks and meet eligibility criteria, they could receive the Aid and Attendance benefit.
In addition to ADLs, veterans automatically qualify based on specific diseases that inhibit their lives, like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Veterans can use their aid to support themselves in nursing homes, third-party help in their homes, pay medical bills, and more.
It is a way to support and honor veterans for their service years ago.
Eligibility for Senior Veteran Benefits
If veterans want to receive Aid and Attendance, they must meet criteria.
1. Military Status
The VA has established military parameters for veterans to claim Aid and Attendance.
Veterans need to have served, at minimum, 90 days of active duty and one of those days during a time of war.
They must not have received a dishonorable discharge; active combat is not required, and time served can be combined to meet the 90 days.
While veterans need not have served in active combat, they must have been on active duty for 90 days (with one day during a wartime period and served one day during war).
The acknowledged periods of war are:
- World War II: December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946
- Korean Conflict: June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955
- Vietnam Era: August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975 (for veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam, the dates are November 1, 1955 to May 7, 1975)
- Gulf War: August 2, 1990 to a yet-to-be-determined date (Note: Veterans must have served for at least 24 months or completed their assignment)
2. Medical Needs
Veterans or surviving spouses need to meet the medical requirements for Aid and Attendance, primarily involving a third party that cares for them because of a disability inhibiting Activities of Daily Living.
The VA determines the medical needs of the claimant based on a doctor’s exam (VA form 21-2680).
Although this is not an official VA threshold, from our experience, it seems that if the applicant needs care for two daily living activities or has a qualified diagnosis, they will most likely meet the medical criteria of eligibility.
3. Income Parameters
All income received by the claimant will reduce their benefit dollar for dollar– for every dollar you earn, you lose one dollar in benefits.
If not for the exceptions provided by Aid and Attendance, most veterans would not qualify for these benefits due to income.
The good news is that Aid and Attendance allows you to deduct your qualified medical expenses. This is why many veterans can qualify despite initial income requirements.
The VA has a current asset limit of $150,537
Your Steps to Receive Benefits
We recommend that all veterans and family members consult with a team that can expedite the process and maximize your benefit amount.
At United Veterans Assistance, we work with veterans and their families every step of the way.
It’s a complicated process; no veteran deserves to walk that path alone.
And those that do, in addition to the challenging experience, often have their application delayed for avoidable mistakes, wait many months for an answer, or don’t get the benefits they are entitled to.
With our VA-accredited attorneys, we work with you to expedite the process through a VA-recognized method of submitting a Fully Developed Claim. This helps maximize your benefits and reduce the wait time.
To get started, follow these steps:
1. Review your situation
Analyze the eligibility requirements mentioned in this article. Do any of them sound like you? It’s ok if you aren’t sure; sometimes, it can get confusing or technical, but it’s important to get a general idea if you may qualify.
Additionally, check your income and medical expenses. If you have high recurring medical expenses, you may be able to receive more assistance.
2. Find out if you qualify
After reviewing, contact us to see if you qualify. We will review your case and confirm whether you meet the eligibility criteria.
Once we’ve designed your strategy, we begin the application process. This requires many forms, some examinations, and other necessary steps to claim assistance successfully.
We submit everything all at once so that the VA prioritizes your claim and provides you with a prompt answer.
4. Wait for a response
With our help, we can receive an answer much faster than individuals who apply independently. In a few short months, the VA may answer with their decision.
5. Enjoy your benefits
If qualified, you will begin to receive your benefits and enjoy your life with the proper care to live peacefully and comfortably. Contact us to get started.
*United Veterans Assistance is a private company and is not affiliated with, or recognized by the Veterans Administration or any government organization. Only the VA can determine who is eligible for Veterans Pension.