When considering senior living, the Veterans Administration offers a pension potentially available to war era veterans and surviving spouses called Aid & Attendance. This information may not be easy to understand. Below is a snapshot of how this benefit may be useful to you or a loved one.
The pension is a reimbursement to help supplement the cost of residing in a senior living community. Qualification for this pension depends on three criteria: Wartime Service, Financials, and Medical Need.
The amounts awarded for the pension are:
- Married Veteran: Up to $2,431/month
- Single or Widowed Veteran: Up to $2,050/month
- Surviving Spouse (not remarried): Up to $1,318/month
- Veteran Married to another Veteran: Up to $3,261/month
WWI, WWII, Korean War, and the Vietnam Conflict are VA qualified service dates eligible for this pension. A service member must have served 90 days in the service, with at least one day during one of the above-mentioned time frames.
Financials will be reviewed for eligibility of this benefit. A good rule of thumb: one must need this financial assistance to bridge the costs of senior living. When considering your assets, remember to evaluate monthly income, liquid assets, proceeds if the home sells, stocks, bonds, IRAs, and balances in checking and savings accounts.
A medical need must also be present to be eligible. A candidate for this pension requires assistance with activities of daily living such as dressing, feeding, bathing, etc. Certain cognitive deficiencies, such as a dementia diagnosis, will also support the medical need.
To gain additional knowledge and discuss this further, there are resources available on the Internet and at The Westbury Senior Living. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about this pension, or senior living in general, please contact Debbie Hook, Senior Living Coordinator at (573) 818-7030.
For additional questions on this pension, please refer to the local Veterans Affairs office located at 800 Hospital Drive, Columbia, MO 65201. They can be reached at (573) 814-6000.