For Veterans needing home health care, having VA Aid and Attendance can be extremely beneficial. But what does Aid and Attendance cover, and how can Veterans take advantage of its services?
If you’re a Veteran or former service member, you may be eligible for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit. Read this guide to get a full breakdown of:
What Aid and Attendance is and every service it can be used for
The Aid and Attendance eligibility requirements
How to sign up for Aid and Attendance
What Is Aid and Attendance?
VA Aid and Attendance is a monthly pension benefit administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) available to Veterans, active duty personnel, military spouses, and caregivers. This benefit was created to assist those who’ve served our country with receiving quality home health care services in the event of an illness or disability that prevents them from living independently.
Aid and Attendance is a necessary financial lifeline for those who need the assistance of a caretaker but cannot afford it out of pocket.
How You Can Use Your VA Aid and Attendance Benefits
The program is designed to cover the costs of care services, such as skilled nursing services, physical therapy, and personal care aides. It can also fund a patient’s stay at an assisted living facility or nursing home. However, since recipients of Aid and Attendance often struggle to complete daily living activities alone, many people elect to use their VA pension benefit for in-home care services that let them maintain a good quality of life in a familiar environment.
Home health care aids can visit as often as the recipient prefers and provide services like:
Wound care or IV therapy
Physical therapy sessions
Dietary guidance, such as meal planning and preparation
Bathing, using the restroom, and overall personal hygiene care
Additionally, on top of core services, other specialists can come and service the Veteran based on specific needs, like offering emotional and mental health counseling or occupational therapy for chronic pain conditions.
Aid and Attendance covers a lot. Thankfully, you don’t have to navigate this benefit alone.
Determining Your Eligibility for Aid and Attendance
To qualify for Aid and Attendance, you must first be eligible for receiving Veterans Pension benefits. Generally speaking, eligible Veterans who served at least 90 days on active duty (with at least one day during a wartime period), were honorably discharged, and currently meet the net worth limits can qualify. Additionally, the Veteran must either:
Be at least 65 years old or
Have a permanent and total disability or
Be a nursing home patient for long-term care because of a disability, or
Be a recipient of Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income
To further qualify for Aid and Attendance, Veterans, spouses, and surviving spouses must meet one of the following requirements.
You need the assistance of another person to help perform daily activities like feeding, dressing, or bathing.
You spend large portions of the day in bed due to an illness.
You are a nursing home resident due to the loss of physical or mental abilities related to a disability.
You have limited eyesight — even with the aid of glasses or contact lenses, you only have 5/200 vision or less in both eyes, or your concentric contraction is five degrees or less.
How to Sign Up
To get started with Aid and Attendance, eligible recipients should fill out VA Form 21-2680, which is the Examination for Housebound Status or Permanent Need for Regular Aid and Attendance. Before mailing it to your state, you can enlist the assistance of a doctor to fill out the examination report and include additional evidence to show your need for housebound care.
The application process generally takes from three to six months to be approved. However, the VA can expedite your application if you’re over 90 years old or in hospice so you can receive your VA benefits quickly.
What Other Veterans Affairs Benefits Am I Entitled To?
In addition to Aid and Attendance, Veterans are entitled to many other VA benefits, such as:
Veteran-Owned Small Business Support
Disability Housing Grants
Life Insurance Housing
The GI Bill and Other Education Benefits
How AVCC Can Help You Find the Right Home Health Care
At American Veterans Care Connection, we understand the challenge of determining the care option that’s right for you. We know you want to live comfortably, and we’re determined to help you do just that. That’s why we’re committed to helping you make the most of your Aid and Attendance benefits by connecting you with reliable home healthcare providers who understand your needs. We’ll screen you to determine your eligibility and start your application process immediately.
Are you ready to take advantage of your Veteran benefits?