If you’re a disabled veteran who served at least 90 days on active duty (with at least one of those days occurring during wartime, as defined by the Veteran’s Administration), and you were discharged from the military under other than dishonorable conditions, you might qualify for Aid and Attendance (A&A) Benefits. These benefits can help you cover the costs of in-home care or care at an assisted living facility or nursing home.
Your disability does not need to be caused by or related to your military service, so if you have a condition such as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease, among others, may be eligible for A&A Benefits, as long as:
- You need the help of another person for routine daily tasks like bathing, toileting, dressing, or feeding yourself; or
- Are in a nursing home due to a physical or mental disability; or
- Are constrained to bed because of a disability; or
- Are blind or have corrected vision of 5/200 or less in both eyes.
In addition to the requirements surrounding your military service and your medical condition, there are financial requirements that must be met. For example, your total household (not individual) countable income must fall below a certain limit, and your net worth can’t be too high. For 2011, the annual household income limit is $23,396 if you have one dependent (such as a spouse or a child), or $19,736 if you have no dependents. The household income limit is increased for those who have more than one dependent.
As with any other government-sponsored benefit program, the rules are quite detailed, and how they apply to you depends on your exact situation. An experienced elder law attorney can help you determine whether you’re eligible for A&A benefits, and can assist you in applying for benefits.