Our office is seeing an increased number of clients interested in applying for the VA Aid & Attendance Benefit. This is a great benefit offered to veterans and their families that can help pay for long term care. There does, however, seem to be a lot of misinformation floating around about what is available and who is eligible. I hope I can give you a (preliminary) answer to some of those questions.
Who is eligible for the VA Benefit?
Veterans who served at least ninety (90) days active duty AND one of those days was during a defined period of war. Most of our clients served in World War II, Korea or Vietnam. Surviving spouses of veterans with qualifying service are also eligible. Divorced spouses are generally not eligible, nor are veterans who served in the reserves.
Is there an income limit?
Yes. For a single veteran, the income limit is $1,704 per month; for a veteran and one dependent, the limit is $2,020 per month; and for a surviving spouse, the limit is $1,094 per month. This is also the maximum benefit payable. However, the VA allows you to reduce your income by the amount you pay for monthly, unreimbursed, recurring medical expenses. For example, if you are a single veteran with $2,000 worth of income, and you are paying $3,000 a month to live in assisted living, your countable income is $0, and if you meet all other requirements, you could be eligible for $1,704 per month.
Is there an asset limit?
Yes, but there is no specific number. The VA looks at a number of factors, and determines if you have enough money to pay for your level of care for the rest of your life. If so, you are not eligible. In short, the VA uses the veteran’s age to determine projected lifetime income and adds to that the veteran’s countable resources, and then balances that figure against the lifetime projected medical expenses. If the medical expenses exceed the income and asset figure, the veteran is qualified.
This is intended to be a short example of the VA Aid & Attendance benefit. For more details, please contact our office for an appointment at 817-263-5190. We look forward to helping our veterans!