One of the Veterans Administration’s best-kept secrets is the under‑used benefit called Aid and Attendance (A&A). This is a benefit for a non-service connected disability and is an excellent potential source of funds for long-term care, either at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a long-term care nursing facility. A&A is an important Veterans Administration (VA) benefit available to wartime veterans and their surviving spouses who may be facing substantial medical and care expenses. Veterans and their surviving spouses who are confined to their homes, or need assisted living or nursing facility care may qualify for benefits.
Under this program, an unmarried veteran can receive a maximum of $1,644 per month in benefits, a married veteran can receive up to $1,949, and a widow or widower can receive up to $1,056 for A&A for the year 2008. The applicant must be determined to be “permanently and totally disabled.” According to the VA, if you are over 65, you meet this criteria. The applicant does not need to be helpless. The applicant need only show that he or she is in need of aid and attendance on a regular basis. Someone who is housebound or in an assisted living or nursing facility, and over the age of 65, is presumed by the VA to be in need of aid and attendance. The Veteran must have served at least 90 consecutive days of active duty, and at least one day of active duty during wartime, but not necessarily in combat. The Veteran’s discharge must have been honorable.