For men and women who have served in the Armed Force and their surviving spouses and dependents, the United States offers a wide range of benefits and assistance programs. Although you may know about some of the benefits to which you may be entitled as a veteran or survivor, one benefit program you may not know about offers a monthly monetary benefit that may come in handy. You may be entitled to additional benefits through a lesser known program referred to as “Veterans Aid and Attendance (VA&A).” As you probably know, navigating the eligibility guidelines and application procedures for any type of veteran’s benefit can be time-consuming and frustrating. To help you find out if you might be eligible, veterans benefits attorneys at Parman & Easterday are here to help explain and assist you through the maze known as the Veterans Aid and Attendance program.
What Is the Veterans Aid and Attendance Program?
The Veteran’s Aid & Attendance program is intended to provide monetary assistance, above that provided by other programs such as the VA pension program. The additional assistance is intended to help cover the cost of someone helping you with daily tasks of living, such as dressing, bathing, or cooking.
Eligibility Guidelines for VA&A
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 (DIC).
- In addition, one of the following must apply:
- You require the aid of another person to perform personal functions of 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 and your disability requires you to 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 65 or officially disabled.
- If you are a veteran, you must have served at least 90 days of which at least 1 day was during a period of conflict, as outlined below.
- 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 or your spouse, if applying as a survivor, cannot have been dishonorably discharged.
- You are not required to be disabled, but a bigger benefit is available to those who are.
- If you are a surviving spouse, you must have been living with the veteran at the time of death and still single at the time of the claim.
- Your income cannot exceed the current income limit which changes each year.
Eligibility for Housebound Benefits
Housebound benefits are similar to Aid and Attendance benefits, but pay less 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 a report from your attending physician or a report from a long-term care facility, indicating you suffer from a physical and/or mental impairment to the extent you need assistance from someone outside your home to be able to complete simple daily tasks.
Applying for Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefits
To learn more or to obtain the forms needed to apply for VA&A benefits you can write to the Pension Management Center (PMC) serving your state, the address for which can be located on the VA website. You can also apply by visiting your local regional benefit office. You will find links to the websites for each regional benefit office in Oklahoma on the VA website. Before y0u submit an application, however, please let us review it as they are complicated and one error or omission can result in months of unnecessary delay.
Contact Oklahoma City Veterans Benefits Attorneys
For additional information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have questions or concerns regarding Veterans Aid and Attendance, or veterans benefits in general, contact the experienced veterans benefits attorneys at Parman & Easterday by calling 405-843-6100 or 913-385-9400 to schedule your appointment today.