- What is the benefit from the Veterans’ Administration (VA)?
The VA helps veterans and their families by providing a benefit in the form of supplemental income. Veterans and their surviving spouses can receive the “aid and attendance” benefit when they need daily assistance with tasks such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, eating, transferring, and so on. The benefit is paid in addition to a veteran’s basic service pension and the requirement for assistance need not be service-related. The monthly benefit maximums are $1,788 for a single veteran, $2,120 for a married veteran and $1,149 for a surviving spouse (In 2016).
- Who is eligible? Who can receive this benefit?
The aid and attendance benefit is available for veterans, and surviving spouses of veterans, who were discharged from a branch of the United States Armed Forces under conditions that were not dishonorable, served at least one day during a wartime period (the service does not need to be in combat), and had at least 90 days of continuous military service. In addition to the service requirements, the applicant must meet certain disability requirements, such as require care with activities of daily living (ADLs as described above and below), and meet certain income and asset limitations.
The wartime periods are defined as:
WWI: April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918
WWII: December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1046
Korean War: June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955
Vietnam War: August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975 (the start date is February 28, 1961 for veterans who served “in country” before August 5, 1964)
Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990 through a date to be set by Presidential Proclamation or law.
The disability requirements are as follows: the veteran or surviving spouse must need the aid and attendance of another person to perform personal care activities such as bathing, feeding, dressing, transferring, toileting, adjusting prosthetics or protecting themselves from hazards in their daily environment. Bedridden or applicants in a nursing home also qualify. The final applicant who may qualify is one who is blind or nearly blind.