Elder Law Blog

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VA Aid & Attendance

VA Aid and Attendance is a means-tested benefit available for veteran's with a non-service connected disability. It is frequently used by aging veterans to pay for long-term care. The benefit is available veterans who served 90 or more days of active duty with at least one day of service during a wartime period, and who have an other than dishonorable discharge.

The 2016 benefit rate is $1,788 for a single veteran, $2,120 for a veteran with a spouse, and $1,149 for a surviving spouse. These rate will increase by 0.3% for 2017 due to a Cost-of-Living Adjustment. These are maximum A&A benefit rates. To receive the maximum rate, you must need the aid of another person to perform personal functions in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, toileting, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of everydasy environment, or you must be bedridden, or you must be in a nursing home for a mental or physical condition, or you must be nearly blind. You must also have Income for VA Purposes (IVAP) that is below the benefit rate.

IVAP is income reduced by unreimbursed medical expenses. The first 5% of medical expenses are disregarded. After that, necessary medical expenses reduce your income dollar for dollar for VA purposes. Since VA A&A is a federal program, information about the program from other parts of the country is informative. A good description of the program appears on the website for the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform at the following link: http://www.canhr.org/factsheets/misc_fs/html/fs_aid_&_attendance.htm

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