A Guide to Aid and Attendance Benefits

Aid and attendance benefits can be provided at no cost to veterans or surviving spouses who require daily assistance. This assistance can be needed for dressing, bathing, cooking, eating or other basic functions. It is not required that you need assistance in each of these areas. If you need assistance in any of these areas on a daily basis, you may be eligible for funding to help pay for your care. 

Qualifying for Aid and Attendance

You will need a complete medical evaluation to qualify for aid and assistance benefits. Your doctor will need to testify to the fact you cannot function completely on your own, meaning another individual will need to be hired to help you. Even if the individual supporting you is a spouse or family member, this person can receive the aid and attendance funds as a compensation for his or her service to you. 

Benefits of Aid and Attendance

Aid and attendance (A&A) is a fiscal compensation. It comes in the form of a check paid to the attendant responsible for your care; this can include an assisted living facility if you are currently in this type of community. Veterans are eligible for $1,632 per month to a veteran. A surviving spouse of a veteran can receive up to $1,055 per month. A couple is eligible for $1,949 per month in assistance. These figures were last updated in 2008, so it is important to check current figures and statistics to learn what you are currently eligible for. 

Forms to Fill Out

To qualify for benefits, you will have to fill out a Veterans Application for Pension or Compensation. This is Form 21-526 for a veteran and Form 21-534 for a surviving spouse. Along with this application, you will need to supply your or your spouse's discharge papers. This is form DD-214, but it can be any form that verifies you were discharged from service. You will also need to supply evidence of a medical evaluation, a summary of your medical issues, the limitations on your income and net worth and any current out-of-pocket expenses you allocate toward medical care. The amount you receive each month will in part depend on the limitations you face. Therefore, it is essential to provide complete and accurate information in as much detail as possible. Your local VA office may be able to assist you in recovering your DD-214 form if you are unsure where the form currently is. If you cannot locate your discharge papers, your Statement of Service will typically suffice as evidence of your eligibility for the program.

Dishonorable Discharge Questions

A commonly asked question is "What occurs in the case of a dishonorable discharge?". If you are dishonorably discharged from service, you are ineligible for all pension and compensation through the VA. If you were less than honorably discharged, though, you may still be eligible for benefits. In this case, you will need to work with the VA to determine the circumstances of your discharge and whether you will still qualify for the Aid and Attendance program. 

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