Currently, the VA benefit known as the Aid and Attendance pension helps about 182,000 veterans. But, VA wants more former servicepersons to check their eligibility.
Aid and Attendance is one of the least-utilized veterans’ benefits available. Yet, according to the VA eligibility guidelines, this tax-free pension is available to wartime veterans who are 65 or older who have little or no income and are in need of daily assistance. Veterans who use the Aid and Attendance benefit typically are in need help with at least one daily activity such as eating, bathing, dressing, putting on a prosthetic limb, etc. Most VA pensions, including A&A, also require an honorable discharge.
According to the VA only one in four veterans eligible for this program, actually use it.
VA’s deputy undersecretary for disability assistance, Tom Pamperin, was quoted as saying, “We know that we’re only hitting about one in four eligible veterans.” Pamperin went on to say, “There are a lot of veterans where it’s been 40 years or more since they’ve been on active duty. It just doesn’t occur to them there may be a benefit from the VA.”
Many people don’t realize that spouses of former military members are also eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit according to VA guidelines. For instance, a married couple may qualify for $2,000 a month, whereas a single veteran may receive around $1,600.
Former servicemembers who think they might have eligibility for a VA pension should contact their local VA benefits office where they can receive information on government-funded programs for veterans.
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