Aid and Attendance
You notice your father having difficulty getting around the house lately and try talking to him about home care. As a veteran, you also realize he may qualify for certain pensions that could help him hire at least some level of home care support. One of those pensions is called the Aid and Attendance Benefit.
Originally developed following World War I as a way to help soldiers returning home from battle receive proper care at home, the Aid and Attendance Benefit expanded through the years and now provides financial support for veterans of all ages who might require some type of home care.
If you’re not sure whether or not your father would qualify for this particular pension, below is a simple test that can help you determine if this is something to further pursue or if you have to look at other options.
Question #1: Did he serve a minimum of 90 days in the United States military?
Your father may have served two years, four years, or some other duration, but as long as he served at least 90 days of active duty service in one of the major branches of the United States military, that’s one of the requirements that needs to be met.
Question #2: Did he serve during a time of active combat?
This question can confuse a lot of people. It doesn’t mean your father had to serve in an active combat situation, but his time of service has to at least overlapped by a minimum of one day with a major active combat engagement the United States was involved in somewhere in the world.
For example, an active combat situation could include World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict, and the Gulf War.
Question #3: Can he prove home care is needed?
Your father is going to have to show the VA that home care is absolutely necessary to help with basic daily living tasks. It can be difficult to prove this, but if his doctor has recommended he have extra support at home, then he or she may be willing to write a letter of recommendation that can highlight the value or importance of home care support.
Question #4: What are his assets and income?
Just because your father may have been denied other pensions through the VA doesn’t mean he would automatically be denied the Aid and Attendance Benefit. The asset and income threshold is different for this pension as it would be for others.
The asset and income thresholds can change at any time, so contact a qualified home care agency who has experience helping other veterans filing applications for the Aid and Attendance Benefit for assistance.