In the United States, veterans, their dependents, and survivors are entitled to a number of benefits and may qualify for assistance programs as a result of the veteran’s service. One program that may help veterans and their spouses should they need help in their home, or to move into an assisted living or long-term care community is the Veterans Aid & Attendance program. The VA&A program is not a well-known program. The benefits it provides can make a huge difference to seniors needing assistance. To help you determine if you might be eligible, an Oklahoma City veterans benefits lawyer will explain how a veteran qualifies for the Veterans Aid & Attendance program.
Who Is Eligible for Veterans Aid & Attendance?
As a veteran or survivor you may qualify for Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefits if you require the “aid and attendance” of another person on a regular basis.
To be eligible for VA&A benefits, the following must apply:
- You must be eligible for pension or, if you are a surviving spouse you must be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, or DIC.
- In addition, one of the following must apply:
- You require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment.
- You are bedridden, in that your disability requires that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment.
- You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity.
- Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.
- You must be at least 65 or officially disabled if younger.
- You must be considered a “wartime veteran” meaning you served at least 90 days and served at least 1 day during the wartime dates below, but not necessarily in combat.
- World War II: Dec 7, 1941 – Dec 31, 1946
- Korean War: Jun 27, 1950 – Jan 31, 1955
- Vietnam War: Aug 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975 (or Feb 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 for Veterans who served in Vietnam)
- Gulf War: Aug 2, 1990 – Undetermined
- You cannot have been dishonorably discharged.
- You are not required to be disabled, but a higher benefit is available if you are.
- If you are a surviving spouse, you must have been living with the veteran at the time of his or her death and must be single at the time of claim.
- You must not exceed the current net worth limit which is subject to change each year.
Who Is Eligible for Housebound Benefits?
Housebound benefits are similar to Aid and Attendance benefits and require a beneficiary to be substantially confined to his or her immediate premises because of a permanent disability. You will be required to provide supporting documentation, such as reports from your attending physician and from a long-term care facility indicating that you suffer from a physical and/or mental impairment to the extent that you need assistance from someone outside your home to be able to complete simple daily tasks.
How Do I Apply for Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefits?
To apply for VA&A benefits you can contact our office, a service officer at any veterans organization *VFW, American Legion, Disabled Veterans), write to the Pension Management Center (PMC) serving your state, the address for which can be located on the VA website., or visit your local regional benefit office. You can find links to the websites for each regional benefits office for the State of Oklahoma on the VA website.
Before you apply, confer with a certified veterans attorney who can advise you of any actions you might need to take before applying.
Contact an Oklahoma City Veterans Benefits Lawyer
For additional information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions about your eligibility for Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits, contact an experienced Oklahoma City veterans benefits lawyer at Parman & Easterday by calling (405) 843-6100 or (913) 385-9400 to schedule your appointment today.