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Which is best for me, VA disabiilty compensation or VA Pension/Aid and Attendance?

I am currently retired and receive several different retirement incomes i,e, Social Security, Federal retirement and a VA Disability. I'm thinking of moving to a retirement/assisted living community and I am wondering how VA Aid and Attendance might work in the future once I have moved in to a retirement community, I currently use the VA system and also have Blue Cross Medicare Advantage and Blue Cross Federal Insurance. How can I make the best of what I have and make it work for me ???
Status: Open    Aug 05, 2015 - 09:50 AM

VA Benefits

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Expert Answers

Aug 11, 2015 - 12:26 PM

VA Service-connected disability is an offset to the Aid & Attendence benefit, so you can't get 100% of both. Second, A&A depends on your medical expenses offsetting your monthly income. If you have a lot of income, you will need a lot of medical expenses or you can't qualify. Third, your assets are considered with the A&A so if you have more than a certain amount, you will be ineligible. The service-connected disability option is better because there is no income or resource limitation. If you are getting close to $2,000/mo in disability, I would stick with that usually.

Aug 12, 2015 - 01:56 AM

Since Pension with A&A maxs out at $2,120 per month for a married couple and disability can be over $3,000 for those rated 100% and needing A&A for that 100% disability, it depends on your situation - once you are Service connected, you can switch between them, going for the larger benefit. For example - someone with 10% hearing loss but eligible for the Pension benefit might want to switch to pension - if they later developed vertigo and were rated 100% disabled from vertigo, they may want to switch back to disability.
Also, if you are not married (wifes can receive a stipend from your disability if you are rate 100% for 10 years prior to death or pass as a result of your service related injury) AND you qualifiy for Medicaid or other low cost programs in assisted living, Pension may work out to your advantage mathematically.

Aug 18, 2015 - 01:18 PM

That depends on what your service connected rating is. However, you are able to apply for A&A through your disability compensation for yourself or your spouse (if applicable). You will just need to demonstrate to the VA that you are in need of 24/7 care or assistance of another person to fulfill your ADLs. However, that is more on the nursing home side over just moving into a retirement community where you still come and go as you please and are able to care for yourself.

Source: My Knowledge as a Veterans Service Officer, trained and accredidted in Veterans Benefits.

Voted Best Answer

Aug 11, 2015 - 12:26 PM

VA Service-connected disability is an offset to the Aid & Attendence benefit, so you can't get 100% of both. Second, A&A depends on your medical expenses offsetting your monthly income. If you have a lot of income, you will need a lot of medical expenses or you can't qualify. Third, your assets are considered with the A&A so if you have more than a certain amount, you will be ineligible. The service-connected disability option is better because there is no income or resource limitation. If you are getting close to $2,000/mo in disability, I would stick with that usually.
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