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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

What Is the Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit?

"Aid and attendance" is a commonly used term for a little-known veterans' disability income. The official title of this benefit is "Pension." The reason for using "aid and attendance" to refer to Pension is that many veterans or their single surviving spouses can become eligible if they have a regular need for the aid and attendance of a caregiver or if they are housebound. Evidence of this need for care must be certified by VA as a "rating." With a rating, certain veterans or their surviving spouses can now qualify for Pension.

The purpose of this benefit is to provide supplemental income to disabled or older veterans who have a low income or high medical costs. Pension is for war veterans who have disabilities that are not connected to their active-duty service. Pension is primarily intended for very low income veterans, but a special provision in how Pension is calculated can allow veterans or single surviving spouses with high income to also receive the benefit which may be as much as $1949 a month. This special provision kicks in for veterans who have ongoing and expensive long term care costs.

Aid and Attendance Pension benefit can pay up to $1949.00 a month for qualifying long term care needs such as:

  • Family members to provide home care
  • Professional home care providers to come into your home
  • Assisted Living or Adult Day services
  • Nursing Home long term care
  • Home renovations for disability

If the veteran’s income exceeds the Pension amount, there is usually no award given, however, income can be adjusted for unreimbursed medical expenses, and this allows veterans with household incomes larger than the Pension amount to qualify for a monthly benefit. There is also an asset test to qualify for Pension.

Veteran Benefit Consultants provide information about the aid and attendance benefit including what it is, who can qualify and what information and documentation are necessary in order to file a claim and ensure a timely decision and avoid potential denials. The consultant’s job is to evaluate family income, family assets and potential conflicts with Medicaid and provide information on the best strategies to pursue to maximize a Pension award.

Aging with Grace™ provides veteran long term planning consultation services, which may include assessment of the client's needs, location and coordination of services and assisting veterans with understanding their benefits and how to receive them. AWG Veteran Consultants are not affiliated with the US Department of Veterans Affairs and do not charge a fee for the preparation, presentation, or prosecution of a claim. Only consultants who are accredited attorneys or accredited representatives are involved in the actual processing of a claim.

To learn more about veteran long term care planning call 877.369.5418 or visit www.awgveteranservices.net.

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