It can be difficult for most veterans and their families to acquire important resources that affect their quality of life. The present VA system can be difficult, complicated, and slow. However, the VA offers a special pension that is designed to help veterans and their spouses, who require health care for the long-term.
It is known as the Aid and Attendance Pension program, which can help reduce the significant costs that are associated with in-home or long-term care for the severely disabled or the elderly. You can find out more online if you are unsure or need more guidance. Most veterans don’t know about this, which is why we are going to uncover some of the basics of Aid and Attendance Pension by addressing some of the most commonly asked questions.
1. What is Aid and Attendance Pension by the VA?
The Aid and Attendance Pension is offered amongst a collection of VA health services and is designed to help veterans and their surviving spouses by reducing their costs of health care for the long-term. The pension is designed to provide relief to individuals, who require assistance from another person for maintaining a higher quality of life or carry out daily activities. Eligibility for the Aid and Attendance Pension isn’t subject to if the veteran was disabled or injured in their time of service. The pension is offered only to individuals who have honourably served in the military, and to their spouses.
2. How Do You Apply for the Pension?
It’s simple to apply, like a lot of VA processes, but you may require some help to be successful in your application. You will need to gather the proper documents for the application, and the paperwork may include the following:
- Social Security award letter copy
- Separation or discharge papers (DD214)
- Proof of any medical expenses, medical bills, medication lists, or insurance premiums that are incurred outside of insurance.
- Physician statement covering the medical status, current diagnosis, ability to travel by themselves or care for themselves, and the address and name of the surviving spouses or the veteran.
- Marriage certificate copy (for surviving spouses)
- List of medical professionals they have visited in the past year.
- If the surviving spouse or veteran is living in a nursing home, they will need a statement of occupancy from the nursing home.
- Financial information regarding your net worth and proof of all income.
- Employee history if the spouse or veteran is under 65 years old.
- Death certificate copy (for surviving spouses)
- Banking information to allow for direct deposit of monthly pension payments.
The documents must be mailed to pension centre and the VA. After it has been filed, the application will be processed, and all documents will be verified by the VA. The VA may contact claimants to deal with any lingering issues or questions.
3. What are the Eligibility Requirements?
Wartime veterans who have served for 90 days in active duty service, with 1 day during a war period are eligible for the Aid and Attendance Pension. The dates for wartime include the following:
- The Mexican Border War: 9th May 1916 to 5th April 1917
- World War I: 6th April 1917 to 11th November 1918
- World War II: 7th December 1941 to 31st December 1946
- The Korean War: 27th June 1950 to 31st January 1955
- The Vietnam War: 5th August 1964 to 7th May 1975
- The Persian Gulf War: 2nd August 1990 to Present Day
The pension can be collected by surviving spouses if the veteran has passed away. Individuals must meet both financial and medical requirements to collect the pension. The income of the claimant can’t be more than the annual pension limits that have been established by the VA.
4. When Will the Pension Be Approved?
The average time it takes for pension applications to be approved can be anywhere from 6 to 8 months. However, if the application package is thorough and complete it may be approved in just 6 weeks. Even though the process takes some time, you will get appropriate funding. After it has been approved the funds for the Aid and Attendance Pension are compensated for the time the application was filed. This means that if it took 6 months to get approval, you’ll get compensation for those 6 months.
5. Will I Still Receive Social Security?
Yes, you may still receive social security, because both financial benefits don’t affect one another. This is mainly because you must provide details for the social security payments to become eligible when you’re applying for the Aid and Attendance Pension.
6. Can I Still Use My Current Health Care?
You may continue using your current healthcare coverage, along with the health care and benefits offered to you by the VA. Those currently using private insurance, like Medicaid or Medicare, may still use the VA benefits along with the benefits offered by the programs. It should be noted that the funding you gain from the Aid and Attendance Pension can be more than the income limits allowed by Medicaid, which will then affect the amount of money you will receive from Medicaid.
You should work with the groups so that your healthcare coverage meets all your needs and is comprehensive. This will mean that you must communicate regularly with the service providers so that your health records remain current.
7. How Can I Use My Aid and Attendance Funds?
You can use the pension to pay for services related to home care support and can for supplies used to help in caring for the Pension collector and hiring an in-home care provider. Apart from that, you can use pension funds to pay for nursing home costs. You can get funds for that by filling out another form that isn’t part of the Aid and Attendance application.
You should know that you can’t use the pension funds to improve your vehicle or to make modifications or improvements to the home of the current pensioner.