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Aid & Attendance Overview


VA Assistance Benefits Overview

Aid & Attendance

Aid and Attendance is a benefit available to veterans, their spouses, or widows.  This benefit is available to help offset some of the cost of nursing homes, assisted living communities, personal care homes or homecare expenses.

Qualifications (these are only approximates)

You or your spouse was a veteran during war time, including those who served state side.

  • Served at least 90 days of active service with one of those days being during war time.

Eligible dates are:

  • 4/21/1898-7/15/1903
  • 5/9/1916-11/11/1918
  • 12/07/1941-12/31/1946
  • 6/27/1950-1/31/1955
  • 8/5/1964-5/7/1975
  • 8/20/1990-present
  • Received anything better than a dishonorable discharge
  • The spouse must not have divorced the veteran.
  • Must need some assistance with at least two adl’s.  This assistance does not mean that they require complete physical assistance, ie: cuing with dressing, reminders to bathe, med monitoring, needs supervision, etc.
  • Applicants must be receiving the assistance, benefits can be retroactive.
  • There are some financial qualifications for those applying.  HOWEVER, it is based on an adjusted income NOT the gross income.   To figure the adjusted income, medical expenses, insurance premiums, meds and even the cost of the community where they are residing is taken into consideration.  Assets not included are the applicant’s home, pensions, small life ins. policies, prepaid funeral expenses and annuities in payout status.

Aid & Attendance and Housebound Benefits

Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or those who are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to a monthly pension and they are not paid without eligibility to pension. Since Aid and Attendance and Housebound allowances increase the pension amount, those who are not eligible for a basic pension due to excessive income may be eligible for pension at these increased rates. A Veteran or surviving spouse may not receive Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time.


This increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount when you are substantially confined to your immediate premises because of your permanent disability.

How to Apply

You may apply for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits by contacting the Pension Management Center (PMC) that serves your state. You may also visit your local regional benefit office to file your request. You can locate your local regional benefit office using the VA Facility Locator, or you can  CONTACT US to connect with a VA Accredited Claims Agent

You should include copies of any evidence, preferably a report from an attending physician validating the need for Aid and Attendance or Housebound type care.

  • The report should be in sufficient detail to determine whether there is disease or injury producing physical or mental impairment, loss of coordination, or conditions affecting the ability to dress and undress, to feed oneself, to attend to sanitary needs and to keep oneself ordinarily clean and presentable.
  • Whether the claim is for Aid and Attendance or Housebound, the report should indicate how well the applicant gets around, whether the applicant goes and what he or she is able to do during a typical day. In addition, it is necessary to determine whether the claimant is confined to the home or immediate premises.

*Not affiliated with the Veterans Administration or any government agency*


Who can apply?

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A Veteran who has served one day during an active war with at least a general discharge or better and at least a 90-day service period can apply. Their spouse or surviving spouse can also apply. They must either intend to live in or already reside in an assisted living facility, or they must receive or intend to receive home care services by a licensed provider. These individuals must qualify financially as well as have at least two activities of daily living (ADLs) that make daily life impossible to live on their own.

World War II 12-7-1941 – 12-31-1946

Korean Conflict 6-27-1950 – 1-31-1955

Vietnam Era 2-28-1961 – 5-7-1975

Gulf conflict  8-2-1990 – Present

How long does it take once you file your application?

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It can take 3-9 months depending on the VA and if they have received everything they need to approve eligibility without any doubt. That is why it is most important to provide correct information and documentation while also ensuring your application is completed to perfection.

What if I don’t have the documents I need?

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You can contact a Wright Way Senior Placement advisor who will then connect you to a VA Accredited Claims Agent that is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Visit https://www.benefits.va.gov/pension/aid_attendance_housebound.asp for more information.
This is a certificate that takes the longest to receive (3 months through the mail, 4 weeks by fax [314-801-9195].
Spouses will need a marriage certificate, death certificate and the DD-214 to apply.

Do the benefits change from state to state?

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No, the benefits are the same for every state regardless of where you live.

What if I am denied?

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You can appeal!

Are the benefits retroactive?

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Yes, if your application takes 4 months to be completed and approved by the VA, you will receive payment from the 1st day of the month after the date you initially applied. For example, if you mailed your application in on June 15th, VA benefits will be retroactive as of July 1st.

Do I have to live in a VA contracted facility?

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No, you can live wherever you would like. Your benefits are for you to help meet your needs wherever you live, as long as assistance is provided by a licensed assisted living facility, nursing home or private duty service.

Where does my VA check go?

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Your check is deposited directly into your bank account. Only you can receive your benefits. Never will a community receive your check, unless you have it mailed directly to your assisted living facility. It will be in your name only.

Who gets declined?

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Those denied typically do not need Aid and Attendance. Those who are still quite healthy may have to wait until they are in need of help. These benefits are for people who need the physical help of a caregiver through a licensed community or company. People who have too much income and savings could potentially be denied. Ask your representative about VA eligibility requirements.

Do I have to use a VA doctor?

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No. You should use a doctor who is familiar with your condition and can fill out the VS03 form in a timely manner.

What if I live out of state?

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If you are filing a claim on behalf of your loved one and the applicant resides in a state other than where you live, the claim must be submitted to the VA office in the state where the applicant resides. Any information associated with the claim is only accessible by the office where the claim is filed.

What if my loved one passes away during the process?

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Be advised that if the applicant should decease prior to “approved benefits” being released, this money is considered to be “accrued benefits” and you are entitled to file against these funds to help offset any and all funeral expenses that were not covered by other means, such as prepaid funeral arrangements, insurance policies, etc.
The Department of Veterans Affairs will not make you aware that this option is available to you. You will need to go to the local office in the state in which you filed to pursue these benefits. Once again, remain persistent in speaking with someone who can assist you.
You will need to have an original coy of the death certificate and all of the bills related to the cost of burial, which also includes appropriate grave markers. This process may take an additional 6 months to become approved and for monies to be disbursed to the individual who actually paid for these expenses.

What is a Fiduciary?

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If your loved one is deemed “incompetent”, they will then have to assign a Fiduciary of their choosing. This is not the same as a Durable Power of Attorney and will unfortunately increase the wait time. If there is already a Fiduciary in place who handles the financial affairs for the applicant, ask the VA to proceed by scheduling an interview for the Fiduciary. This may help shorten the delay rather than being informed of their policy and procedures for the Fiduciary. The VA will then have to approve the individual who acts as the Fiduciary as someone reputable to handle the financial affairs, according to their guidelines.

I think this is great information, but I don’t think I qualify or my loved one qualifies. What should I do?

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Even though you may not have an immediate need for the pension now but suspect that you might in the future, begin gathering all of the necessary documents and forms well in advance so you will be prepared when the time comes. Most adult children of Veterans may not have immediate access or knowledge as to where discharge papers, marriage licenses, bank account information and other important documents are kept. In some cases, it may be necessary to arrange for copies, which can be a timely process.

Can you find assisted living communities for me to consider?

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Yes. Our advisors are available to help you with the process and inform you about costs. Knowing the cost is necessary to complete the qualification process on the questionnaire.
Exampled for assisted living and home care:

If you have any questions, please contact a Wright Way Senior Placement advisor at 602.350.7069 for help.

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