Veterans Pension Program – Eligibility Information*

The VA “Aid &. Attendance” pension program is designed to help veterans and/or their surviving spouse receive the financial support necessary to ensure their continuing care in an assisted living or nursing home setting. Benefits may also be available for house-bound individuals that require daily assistance to maintain their health, dignity and safety. This tax free benefit is paid directly to the recipient and is available in addition to any other resources the resident uses to pay for their care. Successfully obtaining this benefit can help to relieve a big concern that many private-pay seniors encounter when deciding upon care placement-specifically, the uncertainty over financial spend down of their savings.

In 2011, the pension will pay up to: $1,950.00 per month for a Veteran with Spouse

$1,645.00 per month for a single Veteran

$1,057.00 per month for a Surviving Spouse


1. Wartime Service: The Veteran must have served at least 90 days of active duty with at least one day served during a time of war. This wartime service does not require that the veteran was in direct combat activity nor does it require any injury from the former wartime service period.

2. Marital Status: If you are the surviving spouse of a veteran, you must have been married to the veteran at the time of their death.

3. Need for Care: There must be a medical reason why the veteran or the surviving spouse cannot live independently and requires ongoing assistance and care with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s), such as bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, or mental incapacitation such as dementia or mental illness.

4. Income: In general, there must be less income each month than the required cost of care being provided, including the monthly charges by the assisted living or nursing facility.

5. Assets: Many variables require each case to be evaluated individually regarding the level of assets an applicant may have. In general, the lower the level of assets, the easier it is to qualify for the benefit.

6. Ability to presently pay for care: Do you have access to sufficient resources to pay for care while awaiting a VA decision? In order for any benefit claim to be considered by the VA for approval, the applicant must presently require and be paying for care at the time that the application is formally submitted to the VA.

Please note that the VA’s total benefit processing time can generally take from 4 to 12 months from the date of application. Once approved, this tax-free pension is paid directly to the applicant and is retroactive from the first day of the month following receipt of the application by the VA. Therefore, if you are eligible to apply, the sooner that you begin the application process, the sooner you can establish a potential starting date for future benefits.

Provided by: Phillips & Mille Co., L.P.A., Attorneys and Counselors at Law

7530 Lucerne Dr Suite 200, Middleburg Hts, OH 44130, 440-243-2800

Veterans Pension Program – Eligibility Checklist*

This checklist will help you to better understand if you are a possible candidate for the VA “Aid & Attendance”

Pension program. The ideal applicant profile is someone who can answer YES to questions 1- 6 and NO to

question 7. This checklist tool is intended only for planning purposes to help determine if and when you should

apply. The final outcome of any submitted application is determined solely by the US Department of Veteran

Affairs upon their receipt and completed review of all required application material.

1. Did you or your spouse serve in the military during a time of war?

YES War time periods: World War II December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946; Korean Conflict June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955; Vietnam Era August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975 (February 28, 1961 if “in-country” before 8/5/64); Persian Gulf War August 2, 1990 – date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation.

2. If you are a surviving spouse, were you married to the veteran at the time of their death?


3. Do you need help from other people in at least one or more of the following areas?

YES (Circle all areas of care that apply) Bathing / Dressing / Eating/ Transfers / Medication Management / Using the toilet / Incontinence /  Personal Hygiene, Grooming/clean self / Ambulation (fall risk, walker, wheel chair bound) / Legal Blindness in both eyes / Deafness/ Orthopedic or has prosthetic/ Attending to the needs of nature/ Diagnosed with dementia or mental illness requiring supervision for safety?

4. Is your monthly income (social security, pensions, IRA distributions, interest and dividends) less than your monthly medical expenses (supplemental medical insurance premiums, prescription co-pays, home care services or assisted living, cost of non-reimbursed oxygen and diabetic supplies)?

YES (Medical Expenses include the monthly charges at the Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home where you are or will be living; Expenses can also include payments you make to a Home Health agency or private personal care providers)

5. Will your assets be completely Exhausted during the next two (2) years?

YES (While the total amount of assets cannot exceed a certain limit, the amount is not as important as the time left before being depleted. Many variables require each case to be evaluated individually. In general, the lower level of assets the better. Two years or less of usable assets is preferred)

6. Do you have access to sufficient resources to pay for care while awaiting a VA claim decision?

YES (The VA’s decision may take from 4 -12 months. To be approved, the applicant must first require and be paying for care)

7. Are you currently receiving a military service-connected disability benefit from the VA?

NO (If you answered yes to this question, you may still be eligible for a partial benefit above what you are receiving)