Aid and Attendance provides monthly compensation for United States military veterans who need help with daily activities. You can use the benefit to cover the costs of a nursing home or caregiver. Aid and Attendance is paid as part of a pension plan through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). You can receive $22,939 a year or more if you qualify for a VA Pension with Aid and Attendance.
How VA Aid and Attendance Helps Veterans
VA Aid and Attendance is one of several financial VA benefits. It is designed to help veterans afford long-term care for a disability or illness.
This benefit can help pay for:
- In-home care from a nurse or caregiver
- Stays at an assisted living facility
- Care for surviving spouses
VA Aid and Attendance benefits are currently available to qualifying veterans with mesothelioma and their loved ones. The symptoms of mesothelioma, combined with the effects of treatments, mean that some veterans need a caregiver during their cancer battle. Aid and Attendance allows veterans to afford this care.
How Much Does the VA Pay for Aid and Attendance?
The amount of compensation varies depending on your overall income and the number of dependents you support.
As of 2020, VA Aid and Attendance compensation amounts include:
- $22,939 if you are a single veteran with no dependents
- $27,195 if you have a dependent child or spouse
- $36,387 if you and your spouse are both veterans who need Aid and Attendance
Please note that this is not the amount you’ll receive.
Veterans pensions — and, by extension, VA Aid and Attendance — are paid by subtracting your income from the Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR). So, if your income is $8,500 and your MAPR is $22,939, you’d receive $14,439 that year.
- Aid and Attendance Benefits
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- Find Veteran Doctors
Eligibility Requirements for VA Aid and Attendance
You must first qualify for VA Pension to receive VA Aid and Attendance. Once you get monthly pension benefits, the VA will determine how much Aid and Attendance compensation you can receive.
VA Income Limits
The first step in qualifying for VA Aid and Attendance is to make sure your annual income is below the established pension limit — in most cases, this limit is $12,000.
One of the following must also be true:
- You are age 65 or older
- You have a permanent disability (such as mesothelioma)
- You are receiving nursing care in a nursing home or are housebound
- You are receiving supplemental security income
- You are receiving social security disability insurance
In addition, you must meet military service, disability, and income requirements set by the VA to receive Aid and Attendance compensation.
Service Requirements for VA Aid and Attendance
There are two key service requirements to qualify for VA Aid and Attendance. First, you must have received an honorable or general discharge. You also need to have served for 90 days of continuous military service, including one day or more during a wartime period.
Wartime period dates are:
- World War II (From December 7th, 1941 until December 31st, 1946)
- Korean conflict (From June 27th, 1950 until January 31st, 1955)
- Vietnam era (From August 5th, 1964 until May 7th, 1975)
- Gulf War (From August 2nd, 1990 until a final date not yet determined)
With the exception of the Gulf War, asbestos — the only known cause of mesothelioma — was heavily used by the military during all these wartime periods. This is one of the reasons why many wartime veterans now suffer from mesothelioma.
If you entered active duty in the military after September 7th, 1980, you must have served at least 24 months, or for the full period of your active duty.
Disability Requirements for VA Aid and Attendance
Disability requirements allow the VA to understand why you need the help of another person.
You must meet one following disability requirements:
- You require the aid of someone else to perform daily tasks, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, using the restroom, shaving, or adjusting prosthetic devices
- You are bedridden
- You are confined to a nursing home because of physical or mental reasons
- Your corrected eyesight is limited to visual acuity of 5/200 or less in both eyes
Income Requirements for VA Aid and Attendance
As of December 2019, the net worth limit to qualify for a VA Pension and Aid and Attendance is $129,094.
The VA will also look at how much money you make each year (your countable income) to make sure it does not cross a set limit, which varies by your disability, number of dependents, and additional factors.
Countable family income includes:
- Your total income (including that of your spouse and dependent children)
- Interest payments
- Disability payments
- Retirement benefits
The VA excludes some forms of annual income, such as public assistance, in this total. A portion of unreimbursed medical expenses can reduce the total amount of countable income.