Explaining Veterans Affairs Benefit: What is Aid and Attendance?
High percentages of veterans in the U.S. have physical limitations to accomplish daily activities and are likely to have a disability. Thirty-six percent of veterans age 65 or over who are enrolled in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) are disabled from an injury or illness resulting from active military duty.
The oldest segment of the veteran population will soon have a great demand on healthcare services and long-term care. In 2014, about 23 percent of VHA enrollees were age 75 or more. The age group is expected to be 32 percent of enrollees by 2034.
Veterans may not be aware of their eligibility for new or changed benefits provided by Veterans Affairs (VA). And caretakers and healthcare workers may not keep up with benefit changes due to veterans who are homebound or in a nursing home.
Accredited Kansas VA lawyers at Stockton and Stern LLC are knowledgeable and experienced in VA pension benefits. Our attorneys provide guidance, counsel, and representation in qualifying and receiving all the benefits due to veterans for their service.
What is Aid and Attendance?
Aid and Attendance is a relatively unknown benefit to veterans who served in active duty. Aid and Attendance is an increase in a monthly VA pension for a veteran or surviving spouse. The additional payment is for the costs to aid the veteran or survivor in performing daily activities.
Who is eligible for a VA pension?
A veteran would qualify for a VA pension if he or she had at least 90 days of active duty and at least one day during a wartime period. Besides the minimum service requirements, the veteran must have one or more of the following characteristics:
At least 65 years old
A patient in a nursing home and receiving skilled nursing care
Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance
Receiving Supplemental Security Income
Once the veteran's service requirement is met, and he or she has at least one defining characteristic, the veteran's annual family income must be less than the amount set by Congress to qualify for a VA pension. If you have a source of income, see an accredited VA lawyer to protect it in a trust before applying for a VA pension.
Who is eligible for Aid and Attendance?
Veterans and survivors who are eligible for VA pensions who are housebound or need the aid and attendance of another person can get an addition to their monthly payment. Besides the pension requirement, one or more of the following statements must apply to the veteran or surviving spouse:
Require the aid of another to perform daily activities, adjusting prosthetic devices, or have a physical or mental incapacity that requires the assistance of another to protect the veteran or survivor from the hazards and dangers of their daily environment
Remain in bed due to a disability and not because of a prescribed course of treatment
Have limited eyesight to a corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less, in both eyes, or concentric contraction of the visual field to five degrees or less
Be a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity
What are some examples of daily activities a veteran or spouse needs help with to receive an additional pension amount for Aid and Attendance?
Daily activities are things we do every day to take care of ourselves, such as bathing, dressing, and eating; and performing bodily functions, like going to the bathroom. Transferring or moving from one position to another, such as from a bed to a chair, or moving from room to room, are also daily activities. If you are mentally or physically disabled, daily activities become difficult, even impossible.
What are examples of "hazards of the daily environment"?
If a veteran is mentally or physically challenged, the home can be a battleground. Veterans may frequently fall and need assistance, or they may be unable to use appliances, such as a stove, because they may hurt themselves. Kitchen knives, blenders, garbage disposals, and other sharp objects become dangers. And for multiple-floor dwellings and homes with basements, stairways can be fatal.
Contact an accredited Kansas VA attorney for more information about your benefits
For more information on VA pensions, to apply for "Aid and Attendance," or obtain all the benefits for a veteran who served our country, see a VA accredited attorney at Stockton & Stern, LLC . We are dedicated to serve veterans throughout Kansas. For a free consultation, call (913) 856-2828 or contact us online. We are in Gardner at 952 East Lincoln Lane and take appointments in Leawood and Overland Park.