Veterans Aid & Attendance
Veterans Aid & Attendance Attorneys in Montana
If you or your spouse served in the military during wartime and either of you is now unable to live without regular assistance with the basic functions of daily life — bathing, eating, dressing, taking medication, and so forth — or if you or your spouse is blind or living in a nursing home or assisted living facility, help may be available through a little known program from the VA known as Veteran’s Aid and Attendance. Contact the Missoula Veteran’s Aid and Attendance lawyers at Bulman Jones & Cook PLLC for assistance. Call today to schedule your free consultation.
Many veterans and their families assume that there are no benefits for veterans unless they were either wounded in combat or suffered a service-connected disability. This is incorrect. If you are an honorably discharged veteran who served at least one day during a period of wartime and if you are in an assisted living facility or are spending a significant amount each month for care in your home, then you may qualify for benefits under the VA Aid and Attendance program. This program is one of the VA’s best-kept secrets.
Aid and Attendance are available to a veteran who is disabled and has the additional requirement of needing the assistance of another person in order to avoid the hazards of his or her daily environment (for example, the veteran needs someone to help him or her bathe, dress, and otherwise take care of himself or herself).
This “improved pension benefit” is often overlooked as a source of help for families struggling with the care of elderly or ill members. It is important to realize that the program is not limited to service-related injuries. For many, the application process is daunting, but with the help of an experienced veterans’ attorney, many veterans, and their wives or husbands can tap into this largely unused program for the help they need.
Long-Term Care Benefits for Veterans and Surviving Spouses
Long-term care costs can add up quickly. For veterans and the surviving spouses of veterans who need in-home care or are in a nursing home, help may be available. The Veterans Administration (VA) has an underused pension benefit called Aid and Attendance that provides money to those who need assistance performing everyday tasks. Even veterans whose income is above the legal limit for a VA pension may qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit if they have large medical expenses for which they do not receive reimbursement.
Aid and Attendance is a pension benefit, which means it is available to veterans who served at least 90 days, with at least one day during wartime, and who were not dishonorably discharged. The veteran does not have to have service-related disabilities to qualify. Veterans or surviving spouses are eligible if they require the aid of another person to perform an everyday action, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, or going to the bathroom. This includes individuals who are bedridden, blind, and those who reside in a nursing home.
Annual Benefit Amount
To qualify the veteran or spouse must have less than $80,000 in assets, excluding the home and vehicle. In addition, the veteran’s income must be less than the Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR).
Veterans with one dependent
Single surviving spouse
Surviving spouse with one dependent
Eligibility for Aid and Attendance
There must have been an honorable discharge for eligibility. Single surviving spouses of such veterans are also eligible. If younger than 65, the veteran must be completely disabled. If age 65 and older, there is no requirement to prove disability. However, the veteran or spouse must be in need of regular aid and attendance due to:
The inability of a claimant to dress or undress or to keep themselves ordinarily clean and presentable.
Frequent need of adjustment of any special prosthetic or orthopedic appliances which by reason of the particular disability cannot be done without aid; such as supports, belts, lacing at the back, etc.
Inability to feed themselves through the loss of coordination of upper extremities or through extreme weakness.
Inability to attend to the wants of nature.
Incapacity, physical or mental, which requires care or assistance on a regular basis to protect the claimant from hazards or dangers to his or her daily environment.
Not all of the disabling conditions in the list above are required to exist. It is only necessary that the evidence establishes that the veteran or spouse needs “regular” aid and attendance from someone else, not that there be a 24-hour need.
Determination of a need for aid and attendance or housebound benefit is based on medical reports and findings by private physicians or hospital facilities. Approval of aid and attendance or housebound benefits is automatic if the evidence establishes the claimant is a patient in a nursing home or that the claimant is blind or nearly blind or having severe visual problems.
Bradley J. Jones Aid & Attendance Lawyer for Montana Veterans
If you are a veteran or a veteran with a sick or disabled spouse, the veterans’ affairs experts at Bulman Jones & Cook PLLC may be able to get you money to assist with your growing expenses through the United States Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance program.
We will guide you through the complicated application process and assist you with the required paperwork and documentation that can potentially relieve the financial burden of obtaining the services you need, whether in your home, in the care of family or friend, in a nursing home, or in an assisted living home. Call the Montana veterans’ benefits attorneys at Bulman Jones & Cook PLLC. Call today to schedule your free consultation.