There is a little known benefit for veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Gulf War era veterans and/or their surviving spouses that could be a financial lifesaver for many of our veterans. The Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit was created in 1951 and enhanced in 2001. Funded by Congress, it is a pension for non-service related disability that can help pay for in-home care, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and independent living communities.
The pension can provide up to:
$1,949 per month for a veteran with a dependent or spouse
$1,056 per month to a surviving spouse
To be eligible for this pension, a veteran must have served at least 90 days of active duty, received a discharge other than dishonorable and be over the age of 65.
According to the latest data, only one percent of the approximately 15 million eligible veterans have applied for this pension. To date, Congress has allocated over $3 billion to the program. Application must be made through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and take anywhere from four to eight months to be processed and are retro-dated back to the application date.
Pension is a benefit paid to wartime veterans who have limited or no income, and who are age 65 or older, or, if under 65, who are permanently and totally disabled.
This benefit is in ADDITION to Social Security.
Optionally - Veterans who are more seriously disabled may qualify for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits. These are benefits that are paid in addition to the basic pension rate.
For the Basic Veterans Pension Plan, generally, you are eligible if:
you were discharged from service under conditions other than dishonorable, AND
you served at least 90 days of active military service during a war time period. AND
your countable family income is below a yearly limit set by Congress, AND
you are age 65 or older, OR, you are permanently and totally disabled.
If you are unsure if you meet all criteria, contact us for more info, particularly if you have income, other benefits, investments, or equitable value. Otherwise, VA might unfavorably determine if you are eligible before you have satisfied their criteria.
It is VERY IMPORTANT to get advice before making an application. Typically, a wife and minor children can receive benefits also. Healthy, secure, comfortable people, and young adults tend to ignore the possible benefits that are available to veterans, children, dependents, and spouses.