Are veterans' benefits available for assisted living residents?

  1. Molly Dworken 10/16/2012 05:33PM

    In addition to their basic pension from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, military veterans may be eligible for an additional benefit known as the Veterans Aid and Attendance (A&A) Pension. The A&A Pension is provided to qualifying veterans, their spouses, or surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in personal functions required in everyday living such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, taking on and off prosthetics, and protecting themselves from hazards in their daily environment. Assisted care in an assisting living community qualifies for this benefit, though the need must by verified by the individual's physician. The A&A pension also pays for those who are bedridden due to disability, are in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity, and are blind or nearly blind.

    The A&A pension is paid only to those who are eligible for the basic VA pension. Eligible recipients receive the A&A pension in addition to their basic benefit. A service-related injury is not required for eligibility. In order to qualify, the veteran's countable family income must be below a certain limit on a yearly basis as set forth by law (SSI benefits are not part of countable income). The benefit is calculated based on this countable annual income and whether the recipient is single, married with dependents, married to another veteran, or a surviving spouse.