Qualifications

See if you qualify for these benefits:

The VA has four qualifications you must meet

  • You had to be in the service at least 90 consecutive days with at least one of those days being a wartime
  • You have to have anything other than a dishonorable discharge
  • You have to need care
  • You have to meet the VA asset test

Periods Designated As Wartime
  • World War II - December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946
  • Korean Conflict - June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955
  • Vietnam Era - August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975;
    *for veterans who served "in country' before August 5, 1964,
    February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975
  • Gulf War - August 2, 1990 through a date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation
Veterans younger than 65 must be totally disabled. If age 65 or older, there is no requirement to prove disability however the veteran, spouse, or widow must be in need of regular Aid and Attendance.

Determinations of a need for the aid and attendance or housebound benefit is based on medical reports and findings by private physicians or from hospital facilities. Authorization of aid and attendance or housebound benefits is automatic if evidence establishes the claimant is a patient in a nursing home or that the claimant is blind or nearly blind or having severe visual problems.

Do I make too much to qualify or is this just for low income veterans?

No, and this is the primary reason that this benefit is so widely misunderstood. If you speak to a VA Service Representative and ask about the Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit, they will typically ask for your household income. When you tell them your household income, they will compare it to a chart and most often tell you that you earn too much income to receive the benefit. While the information they provide may be technically accurate, what they generally don't explain is the "income" for Veterans Administration purposes (sometimes called IVAP or "adjusted income") is actually your household income minus your recurring, unreimbursed medical and long-term care expenses. These allowable, annualized medical expenses are such things as health insurance premiums, home care expenses, the cost of paying a family member or other person to provide care, the cost of adult day care, the cost of an assisted living facility, or the cost of a nursing home.

It is our job to make sure that you take all the allowable deductions under the VA guidelines.

How is the Aid and Attendance Benefit Calculated?

The monthly award is based on the VA totaling 12 months of estimated future income and subtracting from that 12 months of estimated future recurring and predictable medical expenses. Allowable medical expenses are reduced by a deductible to produce an adjusted medical expense which in turn is subtracted from the estimated 12 months of future income.

The new income derived from subtracting adjusted medical expenses from income is called "countable" income or IVAP (Income for Veterans Affairs Purposes). This countable income is then subtracted from the Maximum Allowable Pension Rate (MAPR). That result is then divided by 12 to determine the monthly income Pension award. This award is paid in addition to the family income that already exists.

The Asset Test

There is an asset test to qualify for the Aid & Attendance Pension Benefit. Any asset or investment that could be easily converted into income might disqualify the claimant. An asset ceiling of $80,000 is often cited in the media as being the test. However, the $80,000 has to do with VA internal filing requirements and is not an actual test. A primary residence, vehicles, and personal property are not considered assets and are excluded from the asset test.

If you have previously been turned down by the Veterans Administration for too much income or too many assets, you need to call us immediatly. We should be able to help you qualify for this much deserved benefit.

The VA will allow assets to be transferred or converted to income in order to meet the VA's asset test. There is no look-back penalty for transferring assets as there is with Medicaid. However, because the veteran or the surviving spouse might need to apply for Medicaid in the future, it is extremely important to consider future Medicaid eligibility when transferring assets or converting assets to income in order to obtain eligibility for Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits. Improper transfers or conversions can disqualify the veteran for a period of time from Medical Assistance (Medicaid) which pays for skilled nursing home care in the future.

VA Benefit Advisors can help you avoid both Aid and Attendance rejection and Medicaid penalties associated with reallocating assets incorrectly.