Older veterans are eligible for a variety of health benefits. Two programs, often overlooked, provide veterans with money to support their much-needed care: Aid and Attendance (A&A) and Housebound. The benefit — up to $2,019 a month for a veteran or up to $1,094 a month for a surviving spouse — may be used to help a person stay at home longer and avoid going to a nursing home before it’s medically necessary.
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What is the Aid & Attendance and Housebound Benefit?
Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to pension. The benefit may be available for family members that care for a veteran. A veteran with a dependent for example, may receive as much as $23,000/year to use to pay for un-reimbursed long-term care. The benefit is an additional stipend for those that meet the eligibility requirements below. The benefit can provide direct financial relief for those eligible.
Who is Eligible for this Benefit?
Aid & Attendance (A&A) is an increased monthly pension amount paid if you meet one of the conditions below:
- You require help performing daily functions, which may include bathing, eating, or dressing.
- You are bedridden.
- You are a patient in a nursing home.
- Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.
Housebound is an increased monthly pension amount paid if you are substantially confined to your immediate premises because of a permanent disability.
Learn more about each benefit from the Veterans Administration. There are many other benefits available to most veterans, including disability, health care, insurance and others.
The application process for these benefits can be confusing and often times discouraging. It is important to ask for assistance when applying. You can search for a VA regional office and discuss with an employee if you are eligible, how to fill out the forms, and what steps you need to take.
This benefit was also covered by NBC Nightly News (video below).