What are Aid & Attendance Benefits?
The Aid and Attendance benefits may be available to veterans who receive regular assistance with activities of daily living. These benefits are also available to veteran’s spouses (including surviving spouses). Aid and Attendance benefits are paid in addition to the regular disability payments (or pension payments) a veteran may be receiving from the VA. Veterans who require in-home care, assisted living, or nursing home care can apply for Aid and Attendance benefits to help lessen their financial burden. To apply for Aid and Attendance benefits, a veteran should submit VA Form 21P-527EZ.
Eligibility for Aid & Attendance Benefits – Physical Need
Aid and Attendance benefits are available to those veterans who need help performing activities of daily living, are legally blind (or almost legally blind), are bedridden, or are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity. The VA looks at certain factors to determine whether a veteran is eligible to Aid and Attendance benefits. Factors include the inability to perform the following actions:
- Dress or undress without assistance
- Keep clean and presentable without assistance
- Feed himself or herself without assistance
- Go to the bathroom without assistance
- Protect himself or herself from dangers in their daily environment
In order to prove entitlement to Aid & Attendance benefits a veteran needs to have evidence from a medical professional such as a physician, certified nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialists, or physician assistant. The evidence should document the veteran’s inability to function on his or her own. For example, the VA will want to see evidence of how well the veteran gets around, whether the veteran is confined to their home, and what the veteran is able to do during a typical day. Overall, a veteran applying for Aid and Attendance benefits needs to show the VA that they are in regular need of aid and attendance.
Although the evidence showing a veteran is in need of regular aid and attendance should come from a medical professional, a veteran does not have receive their care from a medical professional. The aid and attendance can come from the veteran’s spouse, a family member, or even a neighbor of the veteran. A great source of evidence for Aid and Attendance benefits comes from the VA Form 21-2680 Examination of Housebound Status or Permanent Need for Regular Aid and Attendance (this form must be completed by a licensed health care professional).
Eligibility for Aid & Attendance Benefits – Financial Need
In addition to being physically qualified for Aid and Attendance benefits (i.e. needing regular aid and attendance), a veteran must also meet financial requirements. Aid and Attendance benefits are awarded based on need. To determine whether a veteran is eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits, the VA will look at a veteran’s net worth and household income along with the cost of care and medical expenses. The following table shows the maximum amount of income allowed (after deducting medical expenses) in order to qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits:
|Annual Income Amount||Monthly Income Amount|
|Veteran with Dependent||$25,448||$2,120|
|2 Veterans Married to Each Other||$33,702||$2,809|