What are VA Aid and Attendance benefits, the income limitations, and how to get help.
Sometimes, seniors are unaware of benefits that can make all the difference in paying for an assisted living facility or assistance at home. VA Aid and Attendance (also known as the “Improved Pension Plan”) is payable to some veterans who need care and can qualify despite limits on income and assets.
What is VA Aid and Attendance?
VA Aid and Attendance is a generous and tax-free benefit. The maximum amounts in 2023 are $2,229 per month for a single veteran, $2,642 for a married veteran, and $1,432 for a surviving spouse. The veteran or surviving spouse receives this amount in addition to, and not in place of, social security.
Veterans must have spent at least 90 days on active duty, and at least one of those days had to be during a “period of war” as designated by Congress. The length of duty for Gulf War veterans is going to be longer, generally 24 months.
Veterans must have received a discharge other than a dishonorable discharge. A surviving spouse must have been married to the veteran when he or she died.
The veteran must require the assistance of another person to perform two activities of daily living or must need supervision.
Are There Income Limitations to VA Aid and Attendance Benefits?
There are limitations on the income a veteran or surviving spouse can have and still qualify. Income must be less than unreimbursed qualified expenses. Qualified expenses are costs of care in a facility, health insurance, supplies, etc. For a detailed explanation as to how to calculate income, here’s a good resource.
There is also a limit on assets. Currently, the limit is approximately $150,000. But income for a veteran and his or her spouse (or for the surviving spouse) for the last year is counted as an asset.
There is a “look back” period of three years to determine if an applicant for VA Aid and Attendance has given away his or her assets.
Attorneys may not charge for helping someone obtain or keep benefits. They can and do charge, however, with the financial arrangements, such as drafting a trust to hold assets for the veteran or spouse.
Help Navigating VA Aid & Attendance Benefits in TN
If you think you or a loved one might be eligible for these VA aid and attendance benefits, visit our veterans benefits page to learn more. You can also contact an attorney for veterans or a veterans service organization to learn more.