THE 'AID & ATTENDANCE' Pension from the VA
The Aid and Attendance (A&A) Pension provides benefits for veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing and undressing or taking care of the needs of nature. It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity. Assisted care in an assisting living facility also qualifies.
To be eligible for the Pension a Veteran must:
1. Served 90 consecutive days with at least one day during wartime:
Periods of War:
2. Been not Dishonorably Discharged
3. Be 100% Disabled or over Age 65
To qualify for A&A, the Veteran or widow must satisfy three tests. The first test is the Medical Needs Test. It needs to be established by your physician that you require daily assistance by others to dress, undress, bathing, cooking, eating, taking on or off of prosthetics, leave home etc. You DO NOT have to require assistance with all of these. There simply needs to be adequate medical evidence that you cannot function completely on your own.
The second test is the Asset Test. The Asset Test As a general rule household assets cannot exceed $129,094 (2020).
A personal residence on less than 2 acres of land,, personal property and automobiles for personal use are exempted from the asset test.
The Income Test The household income of the veteran or the surviving spouse cannot exceed the Maximum Allowable Pension Rate (MAPR) for that category of application. As an example, using rates for 2020, a husband and spouse with no medical rating cannot have a combined income of more than $18,008 a year from all sources. As another example, a single surviving spouse with an "aid and attendance" medical rating cannot make more than $1,228 a month or $14,736 a year from all sources.
The high cost of medical and non-medical expenses associated with long term care such as home care, assisted living or nursing home care are usually the trigger that allows medical deductions to qualify a veteran household for Pension. That is why only 4.7% of all eligible individuals are actually receiving Pension. Other eligibles don't know about this special provision allowing them to meet the income test or they are currently not in need of long term medical care.
The household income can be reduced to meet the income test under certain special conditions. Households earning $2,000 to $6,000 a month or more might still qualify even though their income does not meet the income test.
The A&A Pension can provide up to $1,911 per month to a veteran, $1,228 per month to a surviving spouse, or $2,266 per month to a couple (2020).
A Veteran filing with a Sick Spouse is eligible for up to $1,477 per month*. Many families overlook the A&A Pension as it pertains to veterans who are still independent, but have an ill spouse. Keep in mind that in this situation, if the spouse's medical expenses completely depletes their combined monthly income, the Veteran can file as a Veteran with a sick spouse.
The information found on this website is gleaned from readily available public sources and is for educational purposes only. It is NOT to be considered financial or legal advice. Consult with an appropriate professional before making important financial or legal decisions.
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