The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for administering a wide variety of benefits for veterans. Unfortunately, many eligible veterans and their families never receive, or never use, some of the benefits available to them. The reasons for this are as widely varied as the benefits themselves. For example, veterans and their families may be unaware these benefits exist, or they may be discouraged by the lengthy, detailed and difficult application process.
An excellent example of a valuable but rarely used benefit is the Aid and Attendance Pension Program. Most often, Aid and Attendance is paid as an addition to a veteran’s pension, but it can be obtained separately from the standard pension. This program offers a qualified veteran more than $23,000 in yearly, tax-free assistance for medical expenses and long-term care. Further, it offers nearly $13,000 to an eligible veteran’s widowed spouse for similar services. It is important to note that these pension programs have no relation to a veteran’s service-connected disability. The assistance can be used for a variety of expenses from paying a family member for caregiving services, to defraying expenses, for professional care in a long-term facility, nursing home, or even the recipient’s private home.
The eligibility requirements for Aid and Attendance and many other benefits vary depending on the veteran’s period of service; generally requiring 90 days of active duty service with at least one day of that service occurring during wartime. Additionally, the veteran must have received a discharge characterized as honorable and pass an asset and income test.
Winegarden Elder Law has attorneys accredited by the Office of General Counsel of the Department of Veterans Affairs who are well-versed in navigating the processes for veteran’s benefits. The challenges that may arise while obtaining benefits are many, and we can assist you in every one of them: from obtaining documents if they have been lost, to structuring your assets to obtain eligibility, and even as far as the appeals process if you have been denied benefits. If you have questions about programs, we are here to help you. You have earned every benefit by serving your nation when you were called. Let us serve you in return.