Next week, November 4 through 10, is Veterans Awareness Week! In 2002, President George W. Bush proclaimed that the week before Veterans Day will be recognized as National Veterans Awareness Week to recognize the contributions of our service men and women.
There are currently more than 25 million living American Veterans, many of whom put their lives on the line to preserve our freedoms. Many of these Veterans and their spouses are unaware of an important benefit that they may be entitled to that could help them pay for in-home care or assisted living as they age. This benefit is called the Aid and Attendance benefit, and is a special type of Veteran’s pension. While the Aid and Attendance benefit is extremely helpful, there are strict eligibility requirements regarding income, assets, need and service.
Some important things to know about the Aid and Attendance benefit:
- Aid & Attendance is not dependent upon service-related injuries.
- There must have been a discharge that was other than dishonorable.
- “Wartime Veterans” and their surviving spouses may be eligible.
- A “Wartime Veteran” for this purpose is someone who served at least 90 days on active duty, with at least one day during a period of wartime.
- Certain medical and financial requirements must be met.
The application for Aid and Attendance Benefits is a painstaking process. The forms are available for you to do it yourself, but be advised if your assets and income do not show up properly, you could be denied the benefit or you could miss out on the complete benefit. Additionally, be careful of making asset transfers without the assistance of an elder law attorney because certain asset transfers could disqualify a Veteran from Aid and Attendance and Medicaid if a nursing home level of care is needed in the future. Lastly, Aid and Attendance benefits are not as widely recognized as other types of benefits for Veterans and incomplete applications can take longer for a decision. For these reasons, it is highly encourage that you seek assistance in completing the application.
Evan H. Farr is an Accredited Attorney with the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs. The Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. specializes in helping Veterans and their spouses obtain the financial assistance to which they are entitled. If you are a Veteran or spouse of a Veteran and you need assistance in your home, or are living in or considering moving into an Assisted Living Facility or Continuing Care Retirement Community, make an appointment for a free consultation. We can work with you to evaluate whether you qualify for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension Benefit and assist you with filing the paperwork.
P.S. For the month of November 2012, Veterans can take advantage of our special 20% discount in honor of Veterans Awareness Week, just by mentioning this posting. Evan H. Farr on Google +