Veterans may be eligible to file a Mesothelioma Aid and Attendance Claim if they require the assistance of another person to perform basic daily tasks. In addition, Aid and Attendance can also be paid to spouses of veterans, or surviving spouses by the VA. Veterans receiving the Aid & Attendance benefit typically need financial assistance in order to help pay for a nursing home, at home care, or an assisted living facility.
How Mesothelioma Aid and Attendance Claims Work
Unlike some other benefits, Aid & Attendance is not tied to military service—the disability which requires skilled care does not have to be caused from military service. In order to receive the benefit, veterans must meet specific requirements set by the VA.
Aid & Attendance is Tied To Eligibility for VA Pension or VA Disability
Aid & Attendance is not a stand-alone benefit. In order to be eligible, veterans first must be eligible for VA Pension or VA Disability Compensation. Veterans totally disabled by a service related disability who require the Aid & Attendance of another person can file for the A&A benefit by filing a VA Form 21-2680 with their Regional VA Office.
If veterans do not have a service related disability, then they must meet the VA Pension eligibility requirements first. Then, if Pension is granted and need for Aid & Attendance is established, the VA will pay the veteran based on the higher A&A income limits. Below are the VA’s requirements for VA Pension eligibility
Eligibility for Aid & Attendance
To be eligible for Aid & Attendance through VA Pension, veterans must meet one of the following conditions:
- Must be older than 65
- Permanently disabled (does not need to be service related)
- Receiving nursing care in a nursing home
- Receiving supplemental security income
- Receiving social security disability insurance
A veteran must meet the following service requirements:
- Was not dishonorably discharged from the U.S. military
- Served for 90 days of continuous military service and served at least one day during a wartime period.
Wartime period dates are:
- World War II (December 7th, 1941 until December 31st, 1946)
- Korean War (June 27th, 1950 until January 31st, 1955)
- Vietnam War (August 5th, 1964 until May 7th, 1975)
Veterans who entered active duty in the military after September 7th, 1980, must have served at least 24 months or for the full period of their active duty.
Veterans must meet the following disability requirements in order to be eligible for Aid & Attendance:
- Veteran requires the aid of another person to perform daily tasks such as bathing, feeding, dressing, using the restroom, shaving, or adjusting prosthetic devices
- Veteran is bedridden
- Veteran is confined to a nursing home because of a physical or mental incapacity
- Veteran’s corrected eyesight is limited to visual acuity of 5/200 or less in both eyes.
A veteran’s annual countable family income must be below a limit set by Congress. Countable family income includes the income of the spouse and dependents as well as the veteran. Countable family income includes earnings, interest payments, disability payments and retirement payments. The VA will exclude some forms of income such as public assistance and a portion of unreimbursed medical expenses paid can reduce the total amount of countable income. For 2014, Congress set the countable income limit for married vets who are housebound at $19,710 and for married veterans in need of Aid & Attendance at $25,448.