If home care is required by an elderly widow of a wartime veteran, he or she may qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits.
The Aid and Attendance is a pension program that provides financial support to qualifying veterans, and their dependents, including widows who require some type of in-home care assistance.
While the financial support may not be the same as what the veteran could have received directly for himself or herself, it can be valuable to somebody who needs assistance at home.
What widows would qualify?
If the widow’s spouse served at least one day of their active duty service during either World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or the Gulf War, they are considered a wartime veteran. Being in actual combat has no bearing.
In order to qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits, the veteran would need to have served at least 90 days active duty during the first three combat periods, or a minimum of two years if they served during the Gulf War.
Another requirement is a stipulation that home care is necessary. A doctor’s recommendation is most commonly called for in these circumstances, so if the widow is struggling with basic tasks or is recovering following a major medical emergency or other circumstance, and a doctor has recommended home care for her or him, that should be enough to fill this requirement.
What about income?
Combined income and assets cannot exceed a specific threshold as set forth by the Veteran’s Administration. While this value may change from one year to the next, it’s important to understand what assets are included in the calculation.
Assets that cannot be quickly converted into cash are not counted in the total of combined income and assets for the Aid and Attendance pension. Also, a primary residence is not used as an asset in these totals.
So, if the widow’s current combined income and assets through pensions, Social Security, investments, savings, or other assets that he or she may currently hold do not exceed the threshold limit, they may qualify for some financial support to pay for home care.
What is that money to be used for?
It is specifically designated for home care. Hiring through a home care agency, hiring an independent caregiver are considered the best options, but nothing beats a professional, experienced home care provider through an agency for quality and consistent support.