Veteran Pension is often called “Aid and Attendance” because the “base level” pension can be enhanced if the veteran (or surviving spouse) is in need of help with the activities of daily living. If help is needed with the activities of daily living (feeding, dressing, bathing, driving, etc) then often the extra money from aid and attendance is an option.
Many, if not most, of the veterans who qualify for the VA pension also qualify for the aid and attendance so it is commonly just referred to as “aid and attendance.”
The additional money is significant — a married veteran who qualifies for the pension and aid and attendance can receive just slightly more than $2000 a month in tax free benefits.
Do keep in mind that in order to get the aid and attendance you must also qualify for the basic pension.
You need to be 65 or older.
Wartime veteran (not combat zone).
90 days of active duty with one day during a time of war.
Or you can be the surviving spouse of a wartime veteran.
There are asset limitations but even if you are over this limit, there are legal ways to reduce the assets that are countable by the VA and there are many assets that are not included — for example the VA does not count your house even if it is paid for.
There are income requirements but keep in mind that you take the income minus your unreimbursed medical expenses to reach the IVAP (income for VA purposes). There are also legal planning steps that can be taken to get the income to a level that is acceptable to the VA so you qualify for this important benefit.
If you live in Alabama and have questions about this benefit for you or your spouse or your parents, please let us know by calling us at 205-879-2447 or you can fill out a contact form on our Alabama Consumer site. Do note we are creating a separate site just for this area of the law in Alabama but it is not up and running yet so feel free to give us a call at 205-879-2447.