Let’s face it: assisted living doesn’t come cheap. And while the value makes it well worth it, for many the financial burden may be too much to bear. Don’t close the door just yet. With solutions like the Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit, assisted living may be more affordable than you think.

Here’s what every family should know about the Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit:

What Is It?

The Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit is a monetary benefit that helps eligible wartime veterans or their surviving spouse with limited income pay for assistance with activities of daily living. It provides additional monthly income over and above the basic pension.

The Advantages

This benefit can be put towards the cost of assisted living, skilled nursing, in-home care, adult day care or even to fund home modifications to accommodate a disability. It’s tax free and paid directly to you by the Treasury Department.

Eligibility

  • At least 90 days of active duty with at least one day during an eligible wartime period.
  • Must NOT have received a dishonorable discharge.
  • Veteran or surviving spouse must be 65 years and older, or totally disabled.
  • Surviving spouse must be married to veteran at time of passing.
  • Must meet income and asset criteria established by the VA.
  • Must need assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, feeding and dressing.

The Application Process

You may apply for this benefit by writing to the Pension Management Center (PMC) for your state. Or, the request can be filed at your regional benefit office which can be found through the VA Facility Locator.

Remember to include copies of any evidence, such as a report from your physician that validates the need for the type of care necessary to be eligible for the Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit.

Per the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website, the report should detail “whether there is disease or injury producing physical or mental impairment, loss of coordination or conditions affecting the ability to dress and undress, to feed oneself, to attend to sanitary needs and to keep oneself ordinarily clean and presentable.” Also, “how well the applicant gets around, where the applicant goes and what he or she is able to do during a typical day. In addition, it is necessary to determine whether the claimant is confined to the home or immediate premises.”

It’s not uncommon for it to take six months or more for your application to be approved. However, once approved, the VA pays retroactively from the date of application.

There is no cost to apply for or the Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit. So, should you enlist a veterans benefits advisor to help you with the process, note that they are prohibited by law from charging you for their assistance with the application.

For more information on the Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit or other financial solutions to help put the cost of assisted living within your reach, contact a Sonata community near you →

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