When Does a Person Need to Have Served to Be Considered a ‘Wartime Veteran’
If a person is considered a ‘wartime veteran,’ does that mean he or she fought in a forward combat situation? Or does that mean the veteran was stationed in a combat area? Or does that mean something else entirely?
When it comes to veterans, if they need any type of support and care at home, they might not be able to afford to pay for these services on their own. There is a pension available through the VA called the Aid and Attendance Benefit, but it’s only available to ‘wartime veterans.’
That’s why it’s important to understand what this terminology means.
In order to be considered a wartime veteran, that individual needs to have served at least one day of their active duty service during a time in which the United States was actively involved in official combat. These main periods of time essentially cover World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War. However, the United States now consider the Vietnam War to be called the Vietnam Conflict.
If a veteran served any time during World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam Conflict, their minimum time of service needs to have been 90 days. If they served any time during the Gulf War, that veteran needs to have served a minimum of two years active duty in one of the major branches of the United States military.
What ‘wartime veteran’ does not mean.
The stipulation for this pension does not mean a veteran has to have fought in a forward combat situation. In other words, if a veteran was enlisted in the United States Navy and was on an aircraft carrier stationed somewhere off South America during the entirety of their service during the Vietnam War, they will still be considered a wartime veteran because of when their service took place.
What does the Aid and Attendance Benefit offer?
For qualifying wartime veterans, this pension can provide financial support to pay for home care services when it is required. A veteran must be able to show that their combined income and assets do not exceed $119,000 and they need direct physical or mental assistance to take care of themselves on a daily or regular basis at home.
In other words, if an elderly or disabled veteran cannot remain safe or complete basic daily tasks on their own at home, they need a home care assistant. If they can’t afford home care, this pension could help.
It might also help any qualifying veteran’s dependents, including a spouse, or the widow of a veteran who would have otherwise qualified for this pension themselves.