Caregivers of veterans may be missing out on financial aid that is available. Aid and Attendance is an "Improved Pension" benefit for vets that is largely unknown.
This Improved Pension, known as A&A, allows for Veterans and surviving spouses who need another person to assist them with eating, bathing, dressing, undressing, medication dosing, etc. to receive additional monetary benefits. This benefit includes vets who are cared for at home, in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
As of December 1, 2016, a veteran (with no dependents) could be eligible for up to $1,794 per month. To qualify, the veteran's doctor must verify that the veteran requires daily assistance by others to dress, undress, bathe, eat, take on or off prosthetics, etc.
Getting the Aid and Attendance benefit to pay for family caregivers is not an easy task. There must be a caregiver contract in place and services for care must be initiated and thoroughly documented before application can be made. Caregivers may wish to seek help from a lawyer who specializes in VA benefits to get the contract in place.
Next, you must file the Application for Pension or Compensation (Form 21-534 for a surviving spouse or Form 21-526 Veteran.) This application requires a copy of the veteran's DD-214 form (discharge papers), a medical evaluation from a physician, current medical issues, net worth, net income, and proof of out-of-pocket medical expenses.