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Tips for Qualifying for Veteran Pension (Aid & Attendance)

In the past I have written about the eligibility rules for Veteran Aid & Attendance benefits (also known as pension). Aid & Attendance is a monthly cash benefit intended to be used to pay for medical related expenses not covered by Medicare or private insurance (i.e. home health services). The VA provides the benefit for the purpose of assisting the veteran (or their surviving spouse) with being able to live at home or in an assisted living facility.

Here are tips to help you or a loved one qualify:

  1. Timely Apply: Apply as soon as you meet the resource, income and unreimburseable medical expense requirements. The VA will only issue retroactive benefits starting with the month your application was filed. If you are not quite ready to submit all supporting documentation you can file a form that preserves the date of filing.
  2. Expedited review: The VA has an expedited review process of you are: a) homeless; b) have a diagnosis of a terminal illness; or c) have a financial burden or hardship.
  3. Qualifying a Spouse: If the veteran is married and the veteran is healthy but the spouse is not, an application cannot be filed for the spouse. The spouse may be entitled to benefits only when the veteran qualifies (or after the veteran’s demise).

Remember most of all that you do not have to pay anyone to prepare and file an application. You can contact your county VA office and they will assist you free of charge. The VA rules prohibit anyone (including an accredited representative, like myself) from charging for preparing an application; fees are permitted beginning when a veteran’s application is denied and an appeal is filed. Be an informed consumer!

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