Ron was a Veteran of the United States Navy. As he got older he began noticing his physical abilities declining. It reached a point when he was 79, living alone, and struggling just to get out of bed that he knew home care would be a benefit. He just couldn’t pay for it himself. He began researching ways to help pay for home care services.
Then he learned about the Aid and Attendance Benefit.
This is a pension made available through the VA for Veterans and survivors that require the aid and attendance of another person or are housebound. The Aid and Attendance benefit is paid in addition to a monthly pension. There are conditions that Veterans must meet in order to be eligible including having a non-service connected illness or disability that requires the assistance of another person, or home care.
To qualify, a Veteran needs to have served at least 90 days active duty in the United States military. A minimum of one day of their active duty service needs to have been during a time in which the United States was actively engaged in combat, which covers World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War. (If the Veteran served any time during the Gulf War, they need to have served at least 24 months.)
A Veteran also needs to meet income and asset requirements. To meet the income to medical expense requirement, the VA uses a ratio. The Veteran must show that their medical expenses are higher than their income. When it comes to assets the VA excludes one (1) home, one (1) vehicle, and three (3) acres of land. Anything over and above is counted as an asset.
Of course, Ron believed he would qualify for this pension based on most factors, but not necessarily meet the income ratio and assets requirement. He found a financial consultant who had some direct experience with this type of pension benefit and advertised their services. Ron would have to pay them $5,000 and was told he would be guaranteed to qualify. Upon meeting with the financial advisor he was presented with paperwork indicating there was no guarantee to qualify and the risk of a VA audit was high. He realized that he would be essentially paying someone for help in filling out a VA application, a free service to all Veterans.
Instead, Ron reached out to the experts at Veterans Care Coordination to discuss his situation and needs. Veterans Care Coordination assisted Ron through the application process and was able to get home care services started immediately.