Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Benefits for Senior Living
The Aid and Attendance Benefit is managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and provides financial support to eligible veterans to assist with the costs of long-term care. The program ensures that veterans and their surviving spouses receive the care they need. For those who are eligible, the cost of care services in living communities can be reimbursed through a Pension income.
The Aid and Attendance benefit is available to low-income veterans and surviving spouses who meet eligibility requirements. The veteran must be age 65 or older and have served 90 days of active-duty service with at least one day during a recognized period of war. You may be eligible for this benefit if you already receive a Veteran’s Administration pension.
Eligible Periods of War:
- World War I
- World War II
- Korean Conflict
- Vietnam Era
- Gulf War
- Age 65 or older, or
- Totally and permanently disabled, or
- Patient in a nursing home, or
- Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, or
- Receiving Supplemental Security Income
Those who are eligible and acceptable may receive benefits between $1,000-$3,000 a month, depending on marriage status or survivorship.
The veteran household cannot have income—adjusted for unreimbursed medical expenses—exceeding the Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR) for that veteran's pension income category. If the adjusted income exceeds the MAPR, there is no benefit. If adjusted income is less than the MAPR, the veteran receives a pension income that is equal to the difference between MAPR and the household income adjusted for unreimbursed medical expenses. The pension income is calculated, based on 12 months of future household income, but paid monthly.
How to Apply
- Eligible veterans, or a surviving spouse, can apply through the same regional Veterans Affairs office where they filed a claim for their Veterans Administration pension, or by submitting forms to the Pension Management Center for their state. (You can find your Pension Management Center (PMC) that serves your state here.)
- You can apply for Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance benefits by either mailing in a completed VA form (Form 21-2680) to your pension management center (PMC), OR you can apply in person (find your nearest VA regional office here).
Social Security Benefits:
Social Security survivor benefits may alleviate some of the financial burden after losing a spouse. When a Social Security beneficiary dies, their surviving spouse is eligible to collect 100 percent of the late spouse’s benefit if the survivor has reached full retirement age.
- A widow or widower age 60 or older who has been married to the deceased for at least nine months at the time of death.
- A survivor whose spouse’s death was accidental or occurred in the line of U.S. military duty (no length-of-marriage requirement for those married to veterans killed in the line of duty), likely eligible for veterans Aid and Attendance benefits.
- A widow or widower age 50 or older who is disabled, and the disability occurred within seven years of the spouse’s death.
- A surviving spouse of any age who is caring for children from the marriage who are less than 16 years old or disabled (75 percent of late spouse’s benefit).
Divorce, survivor retirement age, and the survivor’s own social security benefit are the most common effects to eligibility of Social Security Benefits.
Applying your Benefits to Assisted Living:
The Aid and Attendance benefit is designed to ensure that eligible veterans can receive the care they need, when they can no longer care for themselves. The program provides monetary assistance so that veterans, and/or their spouses, can afford living in the Senior Living community they deserve.