By Linda Snyder, Senior Care Advocate, Villas of Holly Brook
Every day, people just like you are confronted with important decisions about the care of their elderly loved one while keeping in mind their comfort, safety, dignity, and well-being. You are not alone in this process. If your loved one needs assistance with daily activities, an assisted living apartment may be the answer you are looking for—but can you afford it?
Usually seniors have Social Security, savings, and a small pension to provide for their retirement years. Many have additional stocks, 401K, and a home they can sell for additional income. One benefit many veterans and/or their spouses could utilize is their Aid & Attendance Benefit to cover costs of caregivers in the home, assisted living, or a nursing home. This extra income, for seniors that are struggling to pay for the care they require, will help ease their financial stresses . . . I know it did for my mother. The 2020 monthly Aid & Attendance benefits are listed below.
Aid & Attendance Benefit The Department of Veteran Affairs offers a special benefit to war era veterans and their surviving spouses called Aid and Attendance. This is a tax-free benefit designed to provide financial assistance to help cover the cost of long term care in the home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. These benefits are provided “Tax Free” to eligible veterans and/or their spouse.
This Benefit is for those veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person or caregiver in at least two of the daily activities of living such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring.
- Must have served at least 90 days of active duty with at least one day during a period of war.
- Must have anything other than a Dishonorable discharge.
- A surviving spouse must have been married to the veteran at the time of his passing.
- Must require the assistance of another person to perform some of the daily activities of living.
- Must meet income and countable asset criteria established by the VA.
- Must be 65 years and older or totally disabled.
Eligible Periods of War
World War II: December 7, 1941—December 31, 1946, inclusive. If the veteran was in service on December 31, 1946, continuous service before July 26, 1947, is considered World War II service.
Korean conflict: June 27, 1950—January 31, 1955, inclusive.
Vietnam era: The period beginning on February 28, 1961, and ending on May 7, 1975, inclusive, in the case of a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period. The period beginning on August 5, 1964, and ending on May 7, 1975, inclusive, in all other cases.
Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990, through date to be prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law.
HOW TO APPLY
To apply for pension benefits, fill out and submit the following forms: Veterans Pension: Veteran’s Application for Compensation and/or Pension (VA Form 21-526) Survivors Pension: Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension, and Accrued Benefits by Surviving Spouse or Child (VA Form 21-534). You can access these forms by applying online via www.ebenefits.va.gov, your one-stop shop to apply for and learn about your benefits, if you’re a Veteran you can download either form at www.va.gov/forms. Call VA toll free at 1-800-827-1000 for the VA regional office nearest you.
For more information, check out the Villas of Holly Brook and Reflections Memory Care website at www.villasofhollybrook.com for a location near you. Call or stop by for a tour and stay for lunch with the Executive Director before you make a decision for your loved one’s care.