What Is the Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit I Have Been Hearing About?
One of the questions that our community teams are asked when meeting with residents and their families is about how to access additional benefits to help financially when it comes to paying for assisted living, independent living, and memory care services. One of the often used ways to help residents in a Kaplan Development Group community is to access the Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit for veterans and their surviving spouses.
Only a small fraction of eligible veteran Americans over the age of 65, and their spouses, know about the availability of the Aid & Attendance (A&A) pension through the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). With more than one third of Americans being classified as wartime veterans, many families could be benefitting from available assistance to help pay for quality care in a Kaplan Development Group community. Read below to learn more about the A&A pension, including who is eligible and why it matters.
Veterans Aid & Attendance
The Veterans Administration assists U.S. Veterans and their families by providing supplemental income through pension benefit programs. The pensions are available to U.S. military veterans and surviving spouses. Veterans and widowed spouses who require the aid and attendance of another person may be eligible for additional pension benefits for care assistance in an independent living community or in an assisted living community, which includes memory care. The Aid & Attendance pension is available to honorably discharged wartime veterans with 90 days of active duty, and their surviving spouses. Only one of those 90 days needs to have been during a declared wartime period.
In order to qualify for Aid & Attendance, your physician needs to establish that you require assistance with tasks such as dressing, help with mobility, bathing, cooking, eating and others. The Aid &Attendance pension can provide significant financial support to a veteran or surviving spouse in the following amounts:
- Up to $1,758 per month to a veteran
- Up to $1,130 per month to a surviving spouse
- Up to $2,085 per month to a couple
- Up to $1,380 per month to a veteran filing with a sick spouse
Your Questions Answered
In meeting with our communities, we found that there are five questions that are often asked of them. As part of our effort at Kaplan Development Group to further enhance and educate the public about this important piece of the financial puzzle in paying for senior living at Kaplan Development Group, we wanted to put them out for all to see.
1.What types of senior living communities qualify for benefits?
For the full Aid & Attendance Benefit to be awarded to a veteran or surviving spouse, residency in an assisted living or memory care community is the main qualifier. Residents of our independent living communities are also eligible for Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits, although it can be a bit less “streamlined” when it comes to independent living communities – we have networks of experts to help walk you through that process as well.
2. If you are declined benefits – how can you appeal, or can you appeal the decision?
If you are denied the Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit, you will receive a detailed explanation of the denial. Often times there will be a request for additional information that is necessary, which is fairly straightforward. Other times you will need to engage a VA Benefits expert to appeal your denial. Kaplan Development Group has a network of specialists that we can bring into the picture to help with your appeal in these circumstances. The main reason benefits are declined is due to incomplete information in the initial claim. We have experts that will work with you at NO CHARGE to get you the benefits you deserve.
3. Do VA Aid & Attendance Benefits apply to family members who are care givers for the senior? For example, someone who has left the work force to care for the senior?
No they do not. If a family member is acting as the caregiver, then the applicant needs to be paying the family member the same as they would any non-family caregiver. It is up to the family member to claim the income on their taxes just as you would any other source of income.
4. Do you need to be living in an assisted living facility before I apply for benefits?
In order to be awarded the full benefit, a resident does need to be living in an assisted living, memory care or independent living community such as those that Kaplan Development Group owns and operates.
5. I found someone who will help file the application paperwork, but they charge $500. Should I use them to help file?
No one can legally charge a veteran or their spouse for completing or expediting VA pension paperwork. If you are asked to pay for applying for the Veterans Aid & Attendance, then your answer needs to be “I will get back to you”. We have experts that we can partner you with to do this application at no cost and to help you along the way to ensure that the benefit is awarded to you.