Veterans Aid & Attendance Pension Benefits Attorney
VA Compensation & VA Pension Benefits
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers two disability income benefits
for veterans who served on active duty.
The first of these benefits -- Compensation -- is designed to award a veteran
a certain amount of monthly income to compensate for potential loss of
income in the private sector due to a disability or injury or illness
incurred while in the service. THOUGH THIS IS THE BENEFIT MOST VETERANS
KNOW ABOUT, IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE NOT FOCUSED ON HELPING
OUR CLIENTS RECEIVE COMPENSATION. INSTEAD, WE HELP SENIORS OBTAIN THE
LESSER KNOWN BENEFIT, WHICH IS VA PENSION.
The second benefit available -- Pension -- provides supplemental income
to disabled or older veterans who have a low income. Pension is for wartime
veterans who have disabilities that are not connected to their active
duty service. If the veteran’s income exceeds the Pension amount,
then there is no award. However, income can be adjusted for future and
recurring unreimbursed medical expenses, and this allows veterans with
household incomes larger than the Pension amount to qualify for a monthly
benefit. There is also an asset test to qualify for Pension.
Our firm assists veterans and their families in California. We can assist
you in person, over the phone, or online. Call
(661) 306-2500 or
contact us online today.
VA Pension vs. VA Pension with Aid and Attendance:
VA "Aid and Attendance" is a commonly used term for the veterans'
pension disability income benefit which pays out the most money. The official
title of this benefit is "Pension” though. The reason for using
"Aid and Attendance" to refer to Pension is that many veterans
or their single surviving spouses can become eligible if they have a regular
need for the aid and attendance of a caregiver or if they are housebound.
Evidence of this need for care must be certified by the VA as a "rating."
With a rating, certain veterans or their surviving spouses can qualify
for Pension. Pension is also available to low income veteran households
without a rating, but it is a lesser dollar amount.
How does a Veteran or Veteran's Surviving Spouse Qualify for Pension with
Aid & Attendance?
First, the veteran had to have served on active duty at least 90 days with
one of those days occurring during a period of war. Service in combat
is not required, only that the veteran was in the service during wartime
and second, was discharged honorably (usually). Below is a chart for the
dates for wartime service needed to qualify:
Period of War
Beginning and Ending Dates
World War II
December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946
June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955
August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975;
Or, for veterans who served “in country”
before August 5, 1964-February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975
August 2, 1990 through a date to be set by law
or Presidential Proclamation.
Besides the active duty requirement above, there is a medical or long term
care needs analysis that needs to be done: If the veteran is younger than age 65, he or she must be totally disabled
to receive Pension. Medical evidence must be submitted for these types
of applications. At age 65 and older there is no requirement for disability.
The VA just assumes you are disabled if you are age 65 or older.
For a single surviving spouse applying for a Death Pension benefit, the
deceased veteran did not have to meet any disability or age requirements
nor does the surviving spouse need to meet any disability requirements,
regardless of his or her age. But, the surviving spouse had to have been
married to the veteran (they did not need to be living together) at the
veteran’s death and must be single at the time of application.
The VA will also provide additional income in the form of an allowance
enhancement to the basic benefit if the veteran or thesurviving spouse has a regular medical need for assistance or supervision
due to disability. If the nonveteran spouse of a living veteran has a
regular medical need for assistance or supervision, under certain conditions,
a benefit (not an allowance) may be available for the veteran that otherwise
would not have been available. Allowances are granted for a regular need
for "aid and attendance" or if the beneficiary is "housebound."
A medical need for assistance or supervision due to disability is in most
cases crucial to getting the Pension benefit or not getting it. A medical rating or a medical need for disability care allows certain medical
expenses and ancillary non-medical expenses to be annualized and subtracted
from future annual income in order to meet the income test. With few exceptions,
most veteran households could not get the Pension benefit without this
special provision allowing the deduction of annualized medical and non-medical
The high cost of medical and non-medical expenses associated with long
term care such as the care needed at home or in a more formal setting,
such as assisted living, are usually the trigger that allows medical deductions
to qualify a veteran household for Pension.