Too often families of veterans are not aware of the benefits that are available to their wartime veterans through the Veterans Administration (VA). The VA has established funds available to pay for long-term care for veterans and their surviving spouses.
Here are three funds that are available.
- Pension with Aid and Attendance – This fund offers the largest amount of benefits. It is available for a veteran or surviving spouse who needs daily assistance (dressing, eating, toileting, etc.), who is blind, or who is a nursing home patient. This fund will also pay for a veteran or surviving spouse living in an assisted living facility.
- Pension with Housebound Allowance – Some patients need regular assistance, but on a lower level than those in the “Aid and Assistance” category. This fund will pay for care by a family member or care-giving agency.
- Basic Pension – This fund provides assistance to veterans or surviving spouses who are 65 or older. It also provides assistance to veterans or surviving spouses who live on limited income and limited assets.
Qualifying for VA Benefits
In order to take advantage of these available benefits through the VA, you will need to find out if you or your loved one meets the qualifications as a veteran or surviving spouse. While it is not necessary to have received a service-related injury to qualify, there are other service and discharge requirements that must be met. These qualifications can be discovered through the VA website or a qualified attorney.
Applying for VA Benefits
You will want to submit your application as quickly as possible. It may take the VA a year or more to confirm these benefits for you. On the positive side, once approval has been made they will pay the benefits retroactively to the month following the submission of your application. You may also significantly reduce the processing time of your application by having all of the requested documentation at the time of your submission.