The Aid and Attendance benefit is a highly effective, yet frequently overlooked, way to pay for long-term care. Sadly, millions of veterans whose service to our country entitles them to numerous benefits, are unaware of the options available to them. The Aid and Attendance benefit can significantly reduce your long-term care and other health care costs, saving thousands of dollars and helping to ensure that you get the quality of care you need and deserve. An experienced Tri Cities VA benefits attorney can evaluate your case and help you obtain the benefits to which you are entitled.
This special pension benefit is available to help veterans and surviving spouses of veterans pay for their medical care. It is called the ‘Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit’ which is a cash benefit that is paid out monthly for the rest of the veteran’s or surviving spouse’s life. To qualify for this benefit, there is an income/asset threshold that must be met.
To Qualify for a VA Benefit in Tri Cities, the Veteran Must Meet Specific Requirements
There is an income/ assets threshold that you and your spouse must meet to qualify. This threshold is determined by looking at your total income and then deducting your medical expenses. The veteran must also have satisfied the following:
1. The Veteran must have served 90 consecutive days in active military duty
2. The Veteran must have received a better than dishonorable discharge
3. The Veteran must have served at least 1 day of active duty during a war period
4. The Widow must not have divorced the Veteran or remarried after the Veteran’s death
5. The Veteran or Widow must need assistance with their daily living activities
With proper planning, the veteran or surviving spouse can qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits while preserving their assets. Regardless of whether they meet the asset threshold. Contact a Tri Cities VA Benefits attorney today.
What is the VA, Aid, and Attendance Benefit in Kennewick, Pasco & Richland?
The Aid and Attendance benefit helps senior veterans in Eastern Washington when paying for long-term care. Unfortunately, it is a very underutilized benefit that many veterans are unaware of. In fact, only 5% of these assistance funds are even applied for because people do not know about the program. This benefit can also help a surviving spouse of a veteran pay for long-term care. It is a cash benefit that is paid monthly for the rest of the veteran or surviving spouse’s life.
In the Eastern Washington area, there are no doubt thousands who qualify for these benefits considering the proximity to military bases. The money, which is tax-free, can be used for in-home care, an assisted living community, or a private-pay nursing home.
According to Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, assisted living costs in Washington average approximately $54,000 per year, which translates to $4,500 per month. The average cost for in-home health care in the state is slightly higher, at $56,834. Considering that the Aid and Attendance pension benefit can provide upwards of $2,127 per month to a qualifying veteran and their spouse, you may be eligible for coverage of nearly half the total cost of assisted living or in-home care.
The overall aim of the Aid and Attendance benefit is to improve the qualify of life for senior veterans. Although quality of life is important to everyone, we believe it is especially important to protect the quality of life of the brave individuals who risked their lives to help fellow Americans.
For senior veterans who need help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and transportation, receiving aid can dramatically improve their overall quality of life. Eligible veterans in Washington may also qualify for Aid and Attendance benefit funds to help pay for costs associated with assisted living and home care, such as add-on services. For example, a veteran in an assisted living facility receives care, but not 24-hour care, and there are limitations based on necessity. This individual may choose to apply for Aid and Attendance funds to hire a personal assistant, who can provide supplemental help on a one-on-one basis.
If you are a veteran or surviving spouse of a veteran, contact our office to qualify for this cash benefit for the rest of your life.
Other State and Federal Benefits Available for Veterans
The A& A pension benefit is not the only type of assistance available to Washington veterans. Qualifying military service members and veterans may be eligible for education and tuition assistance, property tax exemptions, preference for state employment, and even privileges for fishing and hunting licenses. A VA benefits attorney can help you determine what programs you may be eligible for.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do VA Benefits transfer to surviving spouses?
If certain criteria are met, VA benefits can be obtained by surviving spouses. Examples of these criteria include having limited eyesight or requiring assistance with daily tasks, such as bathing and dressing. A separate application will need to be filed for the surviving spouse.
Do I need an attorney to file for VA Benefits?
Although veterans are not required to have an attorney to file for VA benefits, legal counsel is highly recommended. The benefits application process is extremely complex, and even minor errors can result in delayed or denied benefits. Contact an experienced VA benefits lawyer today at Evergreen Elder Law.
How much does a VA attorney cost?
The cost to hire a VA attorney varies from case to case, but most VA accredited attorneys charge a flat fee basis.
How Long Does It Take To Get Approved?
The application process in our office takes 3-5 months. Approval however is retroactive back to the date of the initial application. Upon approval, you will receive a lump payment of 3-5 months which can be substantial.
Does a Veteran Need To Have Served At War to Qualify For Aid and Attendance?
No, the veteran only needs to have served during a period of way. “Bouts on ground” is not a requirement to qualify.
If I Have Too Many Assets Can I Still Qualify?
Yes, a VA accredited attorney can help. Your assets can be reorganized so they are not countable.
Contact a Tri Cities VA Benefits Lawyer Today
If you have questions about VA benefits and how you can ensure access to the programs and benefits, it is critical to work with a VA accredited attorney. Far too often, unqualified individuals with the wrong motives take advantage of veterans. Further complicating things is the VA’s three-year look-back period, which means that transferring or moving assets to reduce your net worth before consulting with an experienced VA benefits attorney could render you ineligible for needed benefits. The penalty for transferring assets within this three-year window can last up to five years.
At Evergreen Elder Law, our VA accredited lawyers serve the Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho regions, and we can quickly determine eligibility and help you navigate the complex application process. Even if you have previously been denied benefits, we may be able to help you obtain the aid you need by re-applying or appealing the initial decision. Contact our Tri Cities office today for a confidential consultation about your case.