Frequently Asked Questions Regarding VA Aid and Attendance
Roughly 20 million Veterans live in the United States, and more than 50% are 60 or older. Despite devoting their youth to keeping their country safe, many Veterans struggle to receive the help they deserve.
To put it lightly, working with the VA can be challenging. It’s frustrating to sift through mountains of paperwork when it’s difficult enough to find the VA aid and attendance form—much less understand how it can help.
That indicates a serious issue. If you’re a Veteran, you know about sacrifice. You’ve made sacrifices to protect our country, and you shouldn’t have to make another one to get the assistance you need.
At American Veterans Care Connection, we know how tough it is to identify which services are relevant to you. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to bring some clarity to the process.
What is VA Aid and Attendance?
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs states, “Veterans and survivors who require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payments.” Simply put, you could receive monthly stipends if you meet the eligibility requirements.
What are the VA Aid and Attendance Eligibility Requirements?
To qualify for the VA Aid and Attendance benefits, you must meet the following threshold for military service:
Served at least 90 days of active duty, with at least one of those days falling during an active wartime period.
Must have received an honorable discharge
Additionally, you need to have at least one of the following physical complications:
Require the assistance of someone to help you perform activities of daily living (i.e. bathing, feeding, dressing, adjusting prosthetics, or personal protection)
If you’re bedridden or have a disability that necessitates you staying in bed for treatment
Live in an assisted living facility due to mental or physical complications
Suffer from poor eyesight (corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes)
If you meet all the service requirements and at least one of the physical requirements, you’re able to apply for this benefit. However, it’s important to note you also need to fit within the income paramaters to receive it.
How Does My Income Affect VA Aid and Attendance Rates?
VA Aid and Attendance has limits based on your:
Net worth & countable income
Maximum annual pension rate (MAPR)
Essentially, your net worth includes the annual income for you and your spouse plus the sum of your assets.
On the other hand, countable income is how much you and your spouse earn each year, including retirement and Social Security payments. In some circumstances, non-reimbursable medical payments can also be applied towards your countable income—reducing it to make you eligible for VA Aid and Attendance.
MAPR is the maximum pension amount you’re able to receive, and it’s affected by several factors, including:
How many dependents you have
Whether you’re married to another Veteran with a pension
As a helpful tip, you can subtract your countable income from your MAPR to determine your current VA pension rate.
To receive VA Aid and Attendance, your countable income and MAPR must meet the requirements to get a pension. However, remember there’s a net worth limit that determines if you’re eligible or not—any Veterans holding over $130,773 in assets fall outside of the threshold, and won’t receive stipends.
If you meet all these financial requirements, good news, you and your surviving spouse qualify for VA Aid and Attendance!
What Can I Do With My Stipend?
Many Veterans and surviving spouses who receive this benefit use it to cover the cost of home care services, allowing them to stay at home instead of moving into an assisted living facility or a nursing home.
Is Legal Aid Covered by the VA?
Yes, the VA covers legal aid as well. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, free legal clinics are no longer operating onsite at VA facilities. But don’t worry, there are several non-VA organizations who provide legal services. If you need assistance with a legal matter, the following resources can help:
How Long Does the VA Aid and Attendance Process Take?
It’s nice to know you’re getting a stipend, but when can you expect the funds to hit, and how long can the application process take?
Unfortunately, there’s not a single answer. According to the VA’s website, they say: “It depends. We process claims in the order we receive them unless a claim requires priority processing.”
If that sounds vague, well, that’s because it is. Broadly speaking, it tends to take anywhere from three to six months. However, the VA will expedite your application if you’re over 90 years old or in hospice.
I Want to Apply for VA Aid and Attendance, But I Don’t Know Where to Start?
At the AVCC, we take pride in helping Veterans and their families obtain the aid they deserve. We can screen Veterans and surviving spouses to determine their eligibility for VA Aid and Attendance. After we know how much you qualify for, our experts help you apply for the benefit.
We always keep a VA-certified attorney on staff to ensure your application is properly prepared. Once submitted, our team pushes through the application process’s waiting period by contacting the Department of Veterans’ Affairs constantly. That way, we make sure your application moves through each step of the approval process in a timely fashion.
Get the Aid you Deserve with American Veteran Care Connection