Veterans have a number of pension programs made available to them for a variety of needs. One of those is called the Aid and Attendance benefit.
This pension was originally developed following World War I. It was designed to provide financial support to injured soldiers returning from battle who needed extra care at home.
Through the years, it expanded to provide financial assistance to veterans of all ages, regardless of whether they were injured or disabled during active duty service or not.
What veterans qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits?
They must meet specific income and asset threshold limits for one. That means their combined income and assets need to fall below a specific threshold as set forth by the VA.
Keep in mind, though, that their primary residence and some other key assets may not be used in the calculation of total assets. However, a vacation home, rental property, or other assets such as those would likely be calculated in the total.
Also, a veteran needs to have served at least one day of their active duty service during a time in which United States was officially engaged in combat somewhere in the world. The four major combat periods include World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict, and the Gulf War.
If a veteran served any time during the first three combat periods, they need to have served a minimum of 90 days active duty. Otherwise, they need to have served at least two years of active duty in one of the major branches of the armed services.
What about injuries and disabilities?
For veterans under 65, they need to be considered completely disabled in order to qualify for Aid and Attendance financial benefits. That means they would need help getting around and performing most, if not all, major tasks of everyday living.
For veterans 65 and over, they need to have a specific and documentable need for some type of assistance, usually in the form of home care. They might be able to get around with the support of a cane or walker, for example, but still need help cleaning, cooking, getting out to the store to go grocery shopping, and so much more.
Also, it’s important to note that direct dependents, such as a veteran’s spouse, can also receive some financial assistance to pay for home care if they require it. Also, widows of qualifying veterans can receive some financial assistance, though it would not be the same level as the veteran would have received if needed while alive.