“Can we afford it?” It is one of the most common questions asked by those who are considering assisted living – either for themselves, or a loved one.
You should also ask: Are there government benefits that can help pay for assisted living? The answer is “yes” if the potential resident is a veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran.
Do VA Benefits Cover Assisted Living Costs?
The Aid and Attendance benefit is a pension benefit for veterans or their spouses. It is intended for those who need help with the activities of daily living, like bathing, feeding, grooming, and dressing.
Aid and Attendance can help cover the cost of care at an assisted living or skilled nursing community.
Qualifying For VA Aid and Attendance
To qualify, you need to:
- Be a wartime veteran, with 90 days of active duty service (including one day during wartime) and an honorable discharge, OR be a surviving spouse of a wartime veteran.
- Have a medical diagnosis
- Have un-reimbursed medical expenses
The veteran must also qualify financially for pension benefits. Effective December 1st, 2019, the applicant must have a net worth of less than $129,094. They have also introduced a penalty for asset transfers, with a 36-month look-back period.
A surviving spouse may be entitled to a veteran’s pension if he or she was married to a qualifying veteran at the time of their death.
The pension program is need-based. Veterans do not need a disability or disability rating to qualify for pension benefits.
What Counts as Service During Wartime?
The following are the dates the VA considers wartime service for eligibility:
- World War II: December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946
- Korean Conflict: June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955
- Vietnam Era: February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975, for veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period
- Otherwise August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975
- Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990 – undetermined
Related: How to pay for assisted living
VA Aid and Attendance 2020 Amounts
This amount is based on need and income. Applicants will need to document their income, including Social Security, and expenses. They also need to include their medical expenses and the cost of assisted living.
Veterans and spouses in assisted living typically qualify for the maximum benefit.
Single veteran – up to $1,912 monthly
Married veteran – up to $2,266 monthly
Surviving spouse – up to $1,230 monthly
Determining Assisted Living Costs
A representative at any one of our communities can help you to determine the actual cost of assisted living. Rates vary based on location, apartment style, and how much care you may need.
For help determining your eligibility for VA Aid and Attendance, contact The Bristal at any location. We can recommend a choice of trusted elder care attorneys who will process and expedite your benefits applications at no cost to you.