Veterans and their spouses may be eligible for benefits to help with the cost of care in the home.
What are Aid and Attendance and Housebound Benefits?
NOTE: A veteran cannot receive both Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits at the same time, and must be receiving a monthly pension in order to quality for either of these additional benefits.
Aid and Attendance (A&A) is a benefit paid in addition to a monthly pension. This benefit may not be paid without eligibility to pension. A veteran may be eligible for A&A when:
- The veteran is bedridden, in that his/her disability or disabilities require that he/she remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment, OR,
- The veteran is a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity, OR,
- The veteran requires the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting himself/herself from the hazards of his/her daily environment, OR,
- The veteran is blind, or so nearly blind as to have corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less in both eyes, or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.
Housebound is a benefit paid in addition to a monthly pension. Like the Aid and Attendance benefit, Housebound benefits may not be paid without eligibility to pension. A veteran may be eligible for Housebound benefits when:
- The veteran has a single permanent disability evaluated as 100 percent disabling AND, due to such disability, he/she is permanently and substantially confined to his/her immediate premises, OR,
- The veteran has a single permanent disability evaluated as 100 percent disabling AND another disability, or disabilities, evaluated as 60 percent or more disabling.
How to Apply for Aid and Attendance and Housebound Benefits
- A veteran may apply for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits by writing to the VA regional office having jurisdiction of the claim, found online at www.benefits.va.gov/PENSION/resources-contact.asp. This is the office where the claim for pension benefits was filed. If the regional office of jurisdiction is not known, information on benefits may be requested from any VA regional office.
- Copies of evidence should be included, 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.
- In addition, it is necessary to determine whether the claimant is confined to the home or immediate premises.
- Whether the claim is for Aid and Attendance or Housebound, the report should indicate how well the individual gets around, where the individual goes, and what he or she is able to do during a typical day.
NOTE: This veteran benefit process can take 4–6 months to process, but all benefits are retro‑dated back to the original filing date.
Contact CareWorks Health Services online or call (949) 859-4700 or (714) 421-4005 for further details on available options to pay for home care, and for tips on how to make home care more affordable. After a free in-home assessment, we will make certain that any available financial assistance for aging at home is explored, including possible eligibility for any veteran related benefits.
Source: Department of Veteran’s Affairs