VA Financial Assistance for Caregivers: Aid & Attendance


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.

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This is a follow up to my comments last year. In October of 2010 they finally approved my father's benefits. We received two months of the 10 months of benefits we were owed. Then in January of 2011 we had to reapply and a rep of the VA had to come and meet with us. We were told then that the benefits would continue and we would receive the 10 months of back pay. My dear Dad passed away on February 28th 2011. Within a week after I notified them of his death they took back the February payment stating my Dad had to be alive the whole month of February and since he died the last day of the month he was not entitled to his benefits. We have also been told that we will not receive his back pay. I paid out of pocket for care for my Dad while I worked, over $9000 in the 10 month period, and I will never get that back. I would never do anything different because I loved and adored my Dad, but I will never forgive what the VA put us through and how they made my Dad's last months very stressful. I contacted our Congresswoman, our Senator, our city's mayor, and even wrote the President, and no one could do a thing. Next we are going to the media. It now is a matter of principal and I also am positive they are doing the same to other elderly vets. They should be ashamed.
Are you saying that my veteran brother, who CHOOSES to be homeless, can waltz right into the new veteran's facility in our town, show his discharge form, and receive housing and health benefits, including surgery and post surgery care, after I housed him and cared for him for a year prior to his applying for admittance into the facility, all the while caring for our 90 year-old veteran mother, as I've done for the past 16 years (I'm talking hospital orderly duties and more), and it will take an act of Congress to receive resources and compensation? Oh, and did I mention that my brother also received a free cell phone (free as in SOMEBODY'S paying for it, duh) while I continue to rely on my old dinosaur of a cell phone? I plan to pursue this issue 'til the "cows come home." Karen T.
yea, this might be easier said than done.