VA Aid and Attendance Benefit (reprinted from veteranaid.org and the Us Department of veteran affairs)

The Aid and Attendance (A&A) Pension provides benefits for veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing and undressing or taking care of the needs of nature. It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity. Assisted care in an assisting living facility also qualifies.

The 2015 assisted living benefit for a veteran can be up to $1,788 for a single veteran, $1,149 for a surviving spouse and $2,120 for a married veteran towards the cost of an assisted living setting. The benefit could take from 8-12 months to process and is retroactive from the date of application.

Any War-Time Veteran with 90 days of active duty, 1 day beginning or ending during a period of War, is eligible to apply for the Aid & Attendance Special Pension. A surviving spouse (marriage must have ended due to death of veteran) of a War-Time Veteran may also apply. The individual applying must qualify both medically and financially.

To qualify medically, a War-Time Veteran or surviving spouse must need the assistance of another person to perform daily tasks, such as eating, dressing, undressing, taking care of the needs of nature, etc. Being blind or in a nursing home for mental or physical incapacity, or residing in an assisted living facility also qualifies.

Eligibility must be proven by filing the proper Veterans Application for Pension or Compensation. This application will require a copy of DD-214 or separation papers, Medical Evaluation from a physician, current medical issues, net worth limitations, and net income, along with out-of-pocket Medical Expenses. To qualify financially, an applicant must have less than $80,000 in assets, EXCLUDING their home and vehicles.

To apply for the VA Aid and Attendence benefit contact your local VA social worker. Also consider contacting veteran service organizations in your state where representatives can frequently help veterans fill out the needed paperwork to process the necessary forms.

For more information about this benefit see veteranaid.org and Seniors Veteran Service Alliance.

Period of War Eligibility: Beginning and Ending Dates

World War II: December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946

Korean Conflict: June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955

Vietnam Era: August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975; for veterans who served “in country” before August 5, 1964, February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975

Gulf War: August 2, 1990 through a date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation

VA Aid and Attendance Fully Developed Claim (FDC) Application:

The Fully Developed Claim (FDC) program is an optional initiative that offers Veterans and survivors faster decisions from VA on compensation, pension, and survivor benefit claims.  The standard VA A & A application could take 8-12 months for approval.  Some claims filed through the FDC program can be approved within 2-3 months.

Veterans and survivors simply submit all relevant records in their possession, and those records which are easily obtainable, such as private medical records, at the time they make their claim and certify that they have no further evidence to submit. VA can then review and process the claim more quickly.

Here is a link for the FDC walkthough.

The best way to file an FDC is electronically at eBenefits.va.gov. Once you log on to your account, VA recommends you appoint an accredited Veterans Service Officer to help you initiate your claim, gather the required medical records and evidence, and submit your claim. If you don't yet have an eBenefits.va.gov account, register today.

If you prefer to file your FDC by paper, complete VA Form 21-526EZ and visit your local regional office. While there, you can appoint an accredited Veterans Service Officer to help you prepare and submit your claim. You can also appoint your accredited Veterans Service Officer online at eBenefits.va.gov.

Useful links:

http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/

Elderlife financial (VA Aid and Attendance bridge loan)

veteranaid.org

http://www.vetangels.org/frequently-asked-questions/