VA Aid and Attendance Benefits

The Aid and Attendance Benefits program was established by Congress through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and provides medical support to certain qualified veterans and their spouses. Funds from the Aid and Attendance program can be used to help pay for assisted living, long term or nursing home care, and home health care.

Some basic information about who qualifies for VA Aid and Attendance Benefits appears below. If you have questions about these veterans benefits, we invite you to call today for a free initial telephone consultation. Mobile Legal Services works with veterans and their families throughout Southeast Michigan. Our VA accredited attorneys meet clients in their homes, nursing homes, or other convenient locations — for no additional cost — in the Downriver Detroit area and all of Monroe County, Washtenaw County, Southern Macomb County, Oakland County, and Wayne County.

Who Qualifies for Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits?

In order to qualify for Aid and Attendance Benefits, a veteran must be at least 65 or older, have served on active duty for at least 90 consecutive days during a period of war, and have received a discharge other than dishonorable. Single surviving spouses of such veterans may also be eligible.

Qualifying War Times for Aid and Attendance Benefits

Qualifying war times are outlined below:

Period of War Beginning and Ending Dates

World War II

December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946

Korean Conflict

June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955

Vietnam Era

August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975; for veterans who served “in country” before August 5, 1964, February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975

Gulf War

August 2, 1990 through a date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation

Income Levels for Aid and Attendance Benefits

The veteran household cannot have income exceeding the Maximum Allowable Pension Rate (MAPR) for that veteran's Pension income category. If the household income exceeds the MAPR, there is no benefit. However, income is adjusted for unreimbursed medical expenses. If the unreimbursed medical expenses surpass the total income by at least 5%, the veteran or surviving spouse may be qualified for Aid and Attendance Benefits.

Medical Needs that Qualify for Aid and Attendance

An additional qualifying factor that must be met pertains to the medical needs of the individual applying. In order to qualify for Aid and Attendance Benefits the individual must need help with at least 2 activities of daily living, commonly known as ADLs. There are six basic ADLs: eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring (walking) and incontinence.

The Asset Test

The final test an applicant must pass before qualifying for the Aid and Attendance program is the asset test. There is no concrete number that will disqualify an applicant for benefits, and the determination is quite subjective. Factors that the assessor will take into consideration include whether an asset is difficult to sell, the applicant’s overall health needs, and the applicant’s life expectancy, to name a few.

Dealing with Assets that May Disqualify the Applicant

It is currently possible, through the use of trusts and other strategies, to protect assets and qualify an individual for the Aid and Attendance Benefits. In order to understand these options better, please contact us for an initial assessment.

Practice Areas

Navigating the needs and complexities surrounding the older and aging population…
Guardianship, conservatorship, trust administration, and probating an estate.
Planning for an individual or loved one's incapacity or death
Future financial, life management, and medical care for those with disabilities.

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