If you have an aging loved one who needs part-time or full-time care for their health — or if you’re experiencing this change yourself — you may have noticed that the care that seniors often need can be expensive. Many seniors find it difficult to afford the care they could receive at a senior living community.
Fortunately, some special benefits are accessible to certain individuals based on their history. One of these is VA Aid and Attendance, which helps millions of U.S. veterans of retirement age pay for the healthcare and lifestyle they deserve.
VA Aid and Attendance: An Overview
VA Aid and Attendance is an extension of the VA pension that veterans and surviving married partners are entitled to. VA Aid and Attendance is provided monthly to veterans who need assistance paying for their senior care long-term.
This bonus can be a substantial addition to any veteran’s typical monthly income from their VA pension. In fact, in many cases, VA Aid and Attendance can make it possible for senior veterans to access the specialized care they weren’t able to afford previously.
Types of Senior Care Covered
The VA Aid and Attendance benefit covers a wide range of care. Veterans who are no longer able to live independently can use this benefit to cover costs for general assisted living or nursing home accommodations as well as specialized support like memory care.
One requirement for VA Aid and Attendance usage is that the retirement community the veteran lives in must be staffed 24/7. Additionally, the veteran must require help from a nurse or other staff member with two or more of the six ADLs. ADLs, or activities of daily living, are a common test used to measure the independence of seniors. This test is approved and used by the VA.
If a senior veteran wants to stay in their home and use their VA Aid and Attendance bonus to pay for in-home care, they can make the choice to do so. Additionally, all of these benefits extend to the surviving spouses of veterans.
How to Qualify
Veterans will have to meet a few requirements before they can access their VA Aid and Attendance bonus. The individual must already be living in a retirement facility or have an at-home caregiver before applying. Also, the individual must already be receiving their typical VA pension, or they must apply for this pension concurrently with VA Aid and Attendance.
Since veterans need to be receiving their VA pension alongside their VA Aid and Attendance benefit, they’ll need to have all the right qualifications to receive a typical VA pension before they can access either one.
To qualify for a VA pension, the veteran must have been honorably discharged. They must be 65 years or older, be living with a permanent disability, or be receiving Social Security disability income. You can find more specific requirements on the official VA website.
How to Apply for VA Aid and Attendance
To apply for this benefit, you’ll need to download and print VA Form 21-2680 from the VA website. The individual seeking the VA Aid and Assistance benefit will need to supply most of the information on the form, but one section will be filled out by their primary care physician.
Some of the essential details needed for this form are the individual’s Social Security number, their veteran’s service number, and their VA file number.
After completing these few simple steps, submit the form by mail to the VA office or in person at your nearest location. Then the applicant will be able to enjoy peace of mind as well as access to much-needed care thanks to the VA Aid and Attendance benefit.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.