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Veteran’s Benefits

Planning Service

Elderly veterans and their surviving spouses may be eligible for a variety of financial assistance programs offered by the government. At Commonwealth Elder Law, PLLC , we have helped numerous clients get the financial assistance they need.

For example, one of the biggest – and also least well-known – programs available to elderly veterans is the Aid and Attendance (A&A) Program:

This program offers an increased monthly pension. To qualify, a veteran need not have suffered a service-related injury. He or she only has to have clocked at least one day of his or her 90-day minimum military service during a time of war and must also meet one of the following requirements:

  • Require help performing daily functions, which may include bathing, eating or dressing
  • Are bedridden
  • Are a patient in a nursing home
  • Has eyesight that is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.

The benefit of the A&A Program is not insignificant: up to $2,019 monthly for a veteran and spouse, and up to $1,094 for the widow of a veteran.

This financial benefit can then be used to cover the costs of caregivers in the home (including sons and daughters who are paid to be caregivers, though not spouses) or be used for assisted living or a nursing home.

The A&A benefit can be more than 50 percent higher than the basic veteran’s pension ($24,239 annually for a veteran and spouse with A&A, versus $16,051 for a basic pension). The income and asset cutoffs are also higher than for A&A benefits.

To qualify for the A&A program, the veteran or spouse must have less than $80,000 in assets, excluding their home and vehicle. In addition, the veteran’s income must be less than the Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR).

Income does not include welfare benefits or Supplemental Security Income.
Also, it does not include unreimbursed medical expenses paid by the veteran or a member of his or her family, which can include Medicare, Medigap and long-term care insurance premiums as well as all of the following:

  • Over-the-counter medications taken at the recommendation of a doctor
  • Nursing home fees and other long term health care costs
  • Costs associated with an in home attendant who provides some medical or nursing services
  • Costs associated with an assisted living facility

These expenses must be unreimbursed – and not paid by insurance – and they must also recur on a monthly basis.

NOTE: All information mentioned above are as of 2019.

Additional benefit programs

Additional benefit programs that an elderly veteran may be eligible for include:

Additional benefit programs that an elderly veteran may be eligible for include:


This is an increased monthly pension amount paid if the veteran is substantially confined to their immediate premises because of a permanent disability.

General VA Benefits

Elderly Veterans may be eligible for a wide-variety of benefits available to all U.S. military Veterans. VA benefits include disability compensation, pension, education and training, health care, home loans, insurance, vocational rehabilitation and employment, and burial.

VA Health Care for Elderly Veterans

Geriatrics is health care for elderly Veterans with complex needs. Extended care – also known as long term care – is a program for Veterans of all ages who need the daily support and assistance of another individual. Elderly Veterans can receive geriatric and long term care programs at home, at VA medical centers, or in the community.

How to Apply for VA Assistance

Unfortunately, as the New York Times recently wrote: “Applying (for VA aid) can be confusing and arduous.”

Fortunately, we are experienced attorneys at the process and can help you ensure that you get the assistance that you or a loved one needs as quickly and conveniently as possible.

This is important because, according to the 2012 U.S. Census brief, there are now over 12.4 million veterans age 65 or older (and that number has only gone up since then.)

These veterans served in conflicts around the world including World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, and even the War on Terror

As these brave men and women age, they deserve to receive all the benefits and services that are available to them. Through our VA Planning service, we help to make sure that they do.

Not only can these benefits and services help veterans deal with health risks and meet financial challenges but they can also help protect family assets for future generations.

To learn much more about our VA Planning service and how we can help you or a loved one get the benefits that are deserved, please click here to schedule a consultation.

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Contact to Discuss Your Legal Needs

Our firm offers comprehensive elder law services, including estate planning and probate. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about our firm, call us at 859-780-5748, or send us an email.

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