The Aid & Attendance (A&A) benefit from the VA is a benefit that has been around for many years, but is still relatively unknown & underutilized for the many veterans who need care. A&A is available to veterans who served during a time of war & who now need assistance with their care, either at home or at an assisted living community. The availability of the benefit is not dependent upon a service-related injury & can be used for any care-related needs (with some parameters).
This is Part II of our guide to the A&A benefit. You can find Part I by clicking here.
- How come I’ve never heard of this before?
This is a common question that of course we cannot answer for sure. But the VA Aid & Attendance benefit is not well known anywhere because the VA does not advertise or publicize it very well. In addition, while it’s becoming more well-known because of the proliferation of advocates and attorneys working to help get the word out and educate veterans, there are still relatively few who know of its availability. Finally, the financial and legal planning options available to veterans are also a very complex and little-known area of both financial planning and the law, so there are too few out there who can properly help. This is changing, albeit slowly.
- How long has the benefit been around?
A pension plan for disabled veterans (which is what the aid and attendance benefit is) was first established in 1792 and legislation for all surviving veterans was passed in 1818. The pension was first seen as delayed payments for people who served in the American Revolution.
- How do I apply for the benefit? Can I apply by myself?
Yes, you can file on your own, but both the VA and we recommend that you do not. The claims process can be both confusing and frustrating to navigate, and many claims are denied simply because the applicant doesn’t understand the process, the questions being asked, or what needs to be provided. Further, even if the claim is not denied outright, it can take many more months to complete because of information requests and exchanges going back and forth between the applicant and the VA. By submitting the claim properly the first time, we can avoid these delays. Finally, the VA recognizes three groups to assist veterans with the preparation, presentation and filing of claims: VA-accredited attorneys, accredited Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) and claims agents. Those assisting veterans with aid and attendance claims may not charge any fees for their services. The firm affiliates with an organization called U.S. Senior Vets, which helps the veteran complete the claim at no charge. Christina is a VA-Accredited attorney, & has been since 2012.
We’ll look at how we can help & more about the process in Part III, coming soon, but if you’d like more information or help in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by emailing me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or scheduling a no-cost appointment using the link at the right.
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