November 11th is Veterans Day, and people around the country are paying their respects and honoring our veterans. Indeed, each day when you go about your business in a free country, you have our nation’s veterans to thank. While it will never be enough, people who have served are eligible to receive certain benefits. One of these is the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension.
Long-Term Care Assistance Long-term nursing care is a matter of great concern within the elder law community. People often go forward with the impression that Medicare will make things easy if you are going to qualify for the program as a senior citizen. It is true that Medicare pays the bulk of your health care expenses if you are eligible for the program, though there are also some out-of-pocket costs. However, Medicare will not pay for long-term nursing care for more than a brief time.
Long-term care is very expensive. Last year, the average annual charge for a private room in a nursing home was in excess of $90,000. To make matters worse, these costs have been rising each year by a few percentage points. In the Cincinnati area, it is not uncommon to see costs of $5,000.00 a month or more for skilled care.
The Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension can be of assistance if you or your spouse is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces. This benefit is in place to help veterans who cannot handle all of their day-to-day needs without assistance. It can be used to pay for care in your own home, and it could also be used to help cover assisted-living facility costs.
To qualify for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension you must be able to prove that you do in fact need help with your activities of daily living. Because it is a needs-based program, your assets must stay within certain prescribed limits. However, your home is not included in this accounting when your total assets are being tallied by VA.
You may have heard of the Military Retirement Pension. This is a monthly pension that veterans earn after having served for at least 20 years in the military. The Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension is something that sits apart from this retirement pension.
The length of service requirement for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension is much shorter than you might think. If you have served in the armed forces for at least 90 days, you meet the basic requirement. A caveat would be that a minimum of one of the days must have started or ended while the country was engaged in a war.
The exact amount of the monthly benefit that veterans may qualify for will vary as adjustments are made over the years. However, at the time of this writing, a single veteran who is qualified for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension can receive as much as $1,733 per month.