What you need to know about veteran and spouse benefits
Aegis Living deeply appreciates our veterans – we have had a member of the original Band of Brothers with us, as well as many men and women service members in each of our communities. As part of our appreciation, we make sure to help our veterans and their spouses access all of the benefits that are available to them. Did you know that if your father served in the military, he and his spouse may be entitled to VA benefits for assisted living? This can be an amazing help for seniors who have served our country and now need to take advantage of assisted living. Read on to find out more.
“Aegis helps veterans and their spouses find the appropriate benefits.”
What do veterans or their surviving spouses receive?
Under the VA Aid and Attendance Special Pension, also known as the A&A Pension, qualified veterans or their surviving spouses can receive tax-free monthly sums meant to help defray the costs of assisted living. Two married veterans can receive up to a maximum of $2,837 each month in 2015 for this purpose, while a veteran and his or her spouse can receive up to $2,120. A sick spouse of a veteran may receive $1,788, and a surviving spouse may be entitled to $1,149 each month.
As you navigate your veteran parents’ benefits for assisted living, the A&A pension is of vital importance in determining what you can afford and how your parents will support their needs.
Why should we apply, and how should we do so?
The A&A Pension, though it’s existed for more than 60 years, is something very few people know about. It’s a resource you can’t afford not to take advantage of for your parents – and the sooner you complete the application, the sooner your parents will begin receiving their pension. It is also possible that the requirements for the pension may tighten soon, which means the time to apply is now.
The veteran in question must have served for 90 consecutive days of active duty with at least one day taking place during a period of war as specified by the VA. Medically, each applicant needs to be receiving care for activities of daily living, and this has to be certified by the caretaker or assisted living community and by the veteran’s doctor. There are also financial considerations to be made, including whether a veteran has too many assets to qualify for the pension (though there is no specific figure for this) and how the veteran’s financial situation impacts the amount of the A&A Pension available to him or her each month.
If you feel that this will be an overwhelming process, especially as you work to find the best care for your parent, you are not alone. There are many places that will help you work through the application for the benefit of your veteran parent or parents, including the law firm Tracie Wall – a resource that has helped many Aegis residents and their families.
When will we receive benefits?
Depending on a variety of factors, your veteran parent may begin receiving benefits as soon as eight weeks after his or her application. In some cases, it does take months, however. The first installment of the pension will include payment for all of the months the application has been in processing. This will lead to a significant lump sum that can help with larger assisted living costs or that can prepay a few months of rent at the assisted living facility of your choice.