VA Aid & Attendance Benefits

Forms to download and print are available at bottom of page

The Veterans Administration offers a very unique pension program – the Aid & Attendance Benefit – the Federal Pension administered by the VA for qualifying wartime veterans and their spouses. Wartime is defined as any veteran who served during wartime for at least one day. Many veterans confuse this benefit with the disability pension offered to veterans wounded in combat, however, the Aid & Attendance pension has no requirement that the beneficiary be wounded or even retired. This program was developed to assist veterans and their spouses with the additional expenses required for their care — whether at home or in a full time facility. If however, the veteran or spouse elects to enroll in Medicaid then the Aid & Attendance benefit will be reduced substantially.

VA Aid & Attendance 2015 Benefits Table


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Many veterans unnecessarily spend down their assets and apply directly for Benefits. Spending down retirement savings or losing the family home can be avoided if the estate of the veteran is planned correctly – it is possible to obtain Aid and Attendance and still hold sufficient assets for everyday living expenses. One thing to note is that due to the popularity of this program the VA is currently experiencing a backlog of 120,000 cases – with the average wait time for benefits ranging 9 to 16 months. Legacy Care Planning specializes in planning strategies that can protect the hard earned assets of the applicant and assist with qualification for this vital benefit. Since this program is a way of demonstrating our appreciation to our veterans as they mature – it makes sense to look at some pre-planning options before the cost of care strains or depletes available resources.

Aid and Attendance Qualification:

  • must meet service requirement
  • must have an ADL disability
  • must meet income and asset limitations
  • meet VA eligibility guidelines

Service Requirements:

The applicant must be discharged from a branch of the United States Armed Forces and not have a dishonorable discharge on their record.

Not required to serve in combat but serve at least one day in wartime coupled with at least 90 days of continuous military service:

  • WWI April 06, 1917, through November 11, 1918
  • WWII December 07, 1941, through December 31, 1946
  • Korean War June 27, 1950, through January 31,1955
  • Vietnam War, August 05, 1964 , through May 07, 1975 (February 28, 1961 for veterans that served in Korea before August 05, 1964)  Note: If the service was in the country of Vietnam from February 28, 1961 through August 05, 1964 then the veteran is eligible.
  • Persian Gulf War, August 02, 1960, through a date to be set by Presidential proclamation or law.

Note: Merchant Marine Seaman who served in active oceangoing service from December 7, 1941 through to August 15, 1945, are considered veterans. Those veterans should obtain a DD214 Discharge certificate by forwarding form DD2168 to the USCG National Maritime Center in West Virginia.

Asset and Income Requirements:

The most important measure of the eligibility for the VA Aid & Attendance benefit are the asset and income requirement categories. In addition to net worth, you are allowed to possess a home, care, saving account and other personal possessions. The VA does not set an asset limit but determines each case on its own merits and need — the usual waiting period of 9 to 16  months can be shortened if you go through a pre-qualification process. Just email David Yates below to inquire about the pre-qualifying — its complimentary and can expedite the qualification process.

Required Documents all Veterans should have to apply:

  • DD214 Discharge from service certificate(must be certified).
  • VA form 21-22 For VSO representation or VA form 21-22a for individual acting as own claimant
  • VA form 21-4142 This authorizes the release of your personal information to the VA
  • VA form 21-2680  Personal physician letter
  • VA form 21-8416 Statement of medical expenses
  • Standard Form 180 Military Record Release Request

During the application and planning process its important to build a file of personal documents that will be accessible to you or your personal representative – in fact, most delays in the application process are due to incomplete or missing documents.

In addition to the required forms above an applicant for the Aid & Attendance pension will need to provide:

  • Marriage certificate for couples
  • Marriage and Death certificate for surviving spouses
  • Burial Policy 
  • Copy of driver’s license, insurance card, Social Security and Medicare card
  • Copy of insurance bill showing your name, premium and mode of payment
  • Pension and Social Security statements, letter of award from social security, 1099's or copy of latest tax return with supporting documents, banking statements(4 months back statements)
  • Life Insurance and Annuity Policy Statement
  • IRA and Retirement Account Statements
  • Statement of Cash on deposit with any Bank or Financial Institution
  • Mineral Rights and Royalty statements showing ownership
  • Proof of non-reimbursed medical expenses
  • voided check for the deposit of the Aid & Attendance monthly pension

In addition — if in the process of conducting a legal review you will want to provide: 

  • Will, statutory documents, directives, trusts
  • copy of car title/ deed for burial plot/ home deed – including recent property tax bill

If you have any questions on how to file an application for the VA Aid & Attendance Benefit please contact VetAssist® sponsored by Veterans Home Care. You may contact the Toll Free line at: 888-331-7778. Please refer to Legacy Care Planning and the downloadable forms page below.


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