Long-Term Care Benefits for Veterans

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2013 there were 9.3 million veterans over the age of 65. Unfortunately, many of those who served our country are unaware of a financial benefit available to them by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The Non-Service Connected Improved Pension Benefit with Aid and Attendance (or simply Aid and Attendance) is a monthly financial benefit for veterans, spouses of veterans, or surviving spouses which can be used for in-home care, board and care, assisted living communities, and private-pay nursing homes. Aid and Attendance is underutilized; only a small percentage of veterans actually receive benefits from the program.

The Aid and Attendance pension is paid in addition to a veteran’s basic pension. The benefit may not be paid without eligibility to a VA basic pension. It is a non–service connected disability benefit, meaning the disability does not have to be a result of service. You cannot receive non–service and service–connected compensation at the same time.

Today, almost one million Americans live in some type of residential care community. And by 2030 that number is expected to double. Nationwide, the average cost of living in an extended care facility averages between $3,500 to $4,500 per month. For veterans and their families, Aid and Attendance can help lessen some of the financial strain of long-term elder care. The program can provide: $1,794 per month for a single veteran; $2,127  per month to a veteran with a spouse or dependent child; and $1,153 per month to a surviving spouse of a wartime veteran.

Eligibility and Qualifications

A veteran may be eligible for Aid and Attendance if one of the following conditions are met:

  • Veteran was discharged from a branch of the United States Armed Forces under conditions that were not dishonorable, and;
  • Served 90 days of continuous military service (active duty), with at least one day during wartime periods (did not have to serve in combat).


Disability requirements to receive Aid and Attendance include:

  • Require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment;
  • Bedridden, in that your disability or disabilities requires that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment;
  • Are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity;eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.


In addition, a veteran’s income and net worth must be below certain levels to receive Aid & Attendance.



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