Pension Available to Veterans Who Qualify

Aid and Attendance is a valuable Veterans Pension program that many fail to access. Veterans who have served in the military for 90 consecutive days and served during a period of war (see box below) may be eligible to receive an Aid and Attendance pension. To be eligible the Veteran must meet certain criteria. The Veteran must be 65 years of age or older and released from the service under a discharge which was other than dishonorable. The Veteran must need assistance with the activities of daily living. In certain situations the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran may be eligible for an Aid and Attendance pension. There are also financial criteria which must be met. For the Veteran or his or her surviving spouse to be eligible for an Aid and Attendance pension, the applicant must have no more than $80,000 in assets. Among the assets excluded from this $80,000 cap is the Veterans (or spouse’s) residence. Unlike Medicaid eligibility criteria, IRAs and other retirement funds are countable assets. Transfers of assets are permitted prior to making application for Aid and Attendance.

Income is also restricted. The income of a single Veteran cannot exceed $19,736 and the income of a surviving spouse cannot exceed $12,681 per year. A married Veteran is allowed an annual income of $23,396. Although the income cap is quite limited, the out of pocket cost of medical expenses is subtracted from the Veterans actual income. Thus a Veteran who employs a home health care aide reduces his income by the cost of the aide’s employment. The Veteran who resides in an assisted living facility can reduce monthly income by the amount paid to the facility. Doctor’s fees, Medicare premiums, prescription costs, transportation costs to and from doctors and nursing home costs can also be subtracted from the Veterans gross income. If the resulting net income does not then exceed the allowable amount, the Veteran or spouse is eligible for an Aid and Attendance pension.

If you or a family member are interested in learning more about the Aid and Attendance pension, give our Certified New York Elder Law  office a call to discuss eligibility in greater detail.

Wartime Service

The Veterans Administration has strictly defined periods of war. Eligibility for an Aid and Attendance pension requires that the Veteran must have served for at least one day during one of the time periods listed below.

World War II                 December 7, 1941-December 31, 1946

Korean Conflict             June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955

Vietnam Era                 August 5 1964 – May 7, 1975

Persian Gulf War          August 2, 1990 -??? ( no end date yet determined)

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