We believe that any process should be based on two pillars:
Making sure you qualify before the application is sent. We believe that you should fully understand the eligibility requirements before you start the application process.
Veterans service organizations and VA claims agents must submit your application for benefits because they have a duty to assist, whether or not you are qualified.
Simplifying the application process for the family applying. We recognize that you as a family member already have enough stress with caring for your loved one. Having to deal with filling out reams of paperwork is something that we take care of for you.
We will assist you with the necessary forms the VA requires for a ready-to-rate claim.
Our goal for you: We want to help simplify for you a complicated process.
With that being said, what is a typical scenario for Aid & Attendance?
Find out if you are qualified
The very first thing we need to make sure is that the veteran served during a “VA defined” wartime period. Here is the official dates.
The veteran would have had to have served at least 90 days of active duty and 1 day during one of these wartime periods:
Are You Requiring “Aid & Attendance”?
This is something that often confuses people we come into contact with. To be eligible to receive Aid & Attendance benefits, you must be receiving care on a regular basis. What kind of care?
The VA requires that the claimant (the person applying, whether it is the veteran or surviving spouses) be requiring help with activities of daily living (ADLs) on a regular basis.
These are medical services such as dressing, bathing, feeding, toileting, transferring, sitting, standing, prompting (reminding), personal hygiene, etc.
What the VA does not consider when evaluating a claim is things like laundry, housework, and meal preparation. These types of assistance do not fit the VA's definition of ADLs, or medical services.
Often we will speak with families who have an elderly loved one who is requiring assistance with house or yardwork, but is doing excellent with regards to their personal health and don't require these kinds of services described above.
While this is a good thing, it also means they are probably not entitled to benefits at this time. While they may not be eligible now, they may want to consider seeing if they need to pre-plan for the benefit. This will ensure they are financially ready when the need for the benefit arises.
Contact us via e-mail or call 866-667-9360 to discuss pre-planning.
Spending all your monthly income on care
If the veteran served during a wartime period, and is in need of personal care on a regular basis, the veteran or spouse needs to be spending all of their monthly income on that care.
If a couple makes $2,000 a month, they need to be spending at least $2,000 or more per month on their care costs.
Qualified medical expenses include an assisted living/care facility's monthly rent, home caregiver expenses, and out-of-pocket health insurance premiums (Medicare Part B, Blue Cross, Humana, etc.)
Other expenses such as taxes, utilities, groceries, etc. are not considered in the VA's formula for eligibility.
The Veteran's Administration also has asset limitations on how much the claimant is allowed to have. You are allowed to own a house and a car; those assets are not counted. Everyone's situation is different, and we recommend you contact our office more information.
What do I do next?
So to sum up, in order to qualify for benefits, the claimant must have:
- served or been married to one who served during a “VA defined” wartime period
- be in need of help with activities of daily living on a regular basis
- be spending all of their monthly income on that care, and
- meet the asset test
The first step in our process is to call our office to get some specific information from you. From there, we can determine whether or not you meet the qualifications. If you do, we can begin the application process.
Our goal is to be a support to families who are trying to navigate the maze of elder benefits from the VA. Our veterans and their spouses have earned these benefits, and we exist to help connect them with their rewards.