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Released: June 13, 2011
Help Desk FAQ
What are Aid & Attendance and Housebound benefits for veterans?
Many veterans who were in uniform during a war, and their spouses, could be eligible for a monthly Aid & Attendance benefit that would help pay the costs of an assisted living community or long term care facility. In 2011, the benefit pays up to $1,949/month for a couple, $1,645/month for a single veteran and $1,056 for a single surviving spouse. A similar Housebound benefit pays for care in the home; benefit amounts are lower.
To qualify for either benefit, the veteran had to have served on active duty at least 90 days with at least one of those days during a period of war. Service in combat is not required, only that the veteran served during wartime and received an honorable discharge. There are also income and asset limits that must be met, and a “medical needs test”—proof that the veteran or spouse has physical limitations that require regular assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and eating.
According to statistics, very few eligible veterans or spouses ever apply for this benefit, most likely because they don’t know about it.
For more information or to begin the application process, visit these sites:
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (both the Aid & Attendance benefit and the Housebound benefit fall under the category of Veterans Pension Program benefits.
- Your state’s Department of Veterans Affairs.
- National Association of County Veterans Service Officers (CVSO) (click on “Find a Service Officer” to locate assistance in your county)
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