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The VA Program That Pays For Long-Term Care For Vets

- Monday, July 13, 2015

There is a little-known Veterans Administration (VA) program that pays for some long-term care costs for vets and their families, called the Aid and Attendance Benefit.

If you have never heard of this benefit, which has been around for more than 60 years and covers some expenses for in-home care, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, you’re in good company.

VA Long-Term Care Benefit

By one estimate, only 5% of vets entitled to the benefit apply for it.

Honorably-discharged wartime veterans over 65 and their widowed spouses who are eligible for a VA pension and require the “aid and attendance” of another person or are housebound may be eligible for what the VA calls “additional pension benefits for care assistance in the home or in an assisted living community.”

Aid and Attendance pays up to: $1,788 per month to a single veteran, $1,149 to a surviving spouse, $2,120 to a married veteran and $2,837 to a veteran couple. The benefit is tax-free.

Who Is Eligible for Aid and Attendance

Now here’s the catch: applying for and receiving the money is daunting.

“It sucks the life out of anyone who attempts to crawl through the maze of paperwork and process,” wrote Randi Kreiss in The Riverdale Press.

The VA says it takes 156 days (roughly five months), on average, for an Aid and Attendance claim to be processed after someone applies by writing to a VA regional office and submitting evidence. But some frustrated applicants have run into infuriating red tape and much longer waits.

Later this week, check out our blog about “Tips for Applying for the VA Benefit”.

For more information, contact Spring Arbor.