Guide to VA Benefits and Long-Term Care

More than one-third of Americans over 65 are either wartime veterans or are married to one, which means they may qualify for benefits that can help offset the cost of senior care. Yet less than 10 percent of those who qualify have even applied for Veterans Aid & Attendance, which can be used to help pay for in-home care, board and care, assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities.

This guide is designed to help veterans and their families learn more about Aid & Attendance. It includes information about

  • How award amounts are determined
  • How long the application and approval process takes
  • Who is eligible for VA Aid & Attendance
  • How this benefit can be used to pay for care at home and in senior living
  • How to apply for VA Aid & Attendance
  • What documents are required for application
  • Where to find resources for help with the application process

Download the Guide to Veterans Benefits & Long Term Care to being the process of learning more about Aid & Attendance and how you and your family may benefit from this program.



Chapter One

The Basics

More than one third of Americans over 65 are either wartime veterans or the spouse of a wartime vet, who may qualify for a pension program through the Department of Veteran Affairs

– Guide To VA Benefits & Long Term Care eBook

The VA helps U.S. Veterans and their families by providing supplemental income through the Veterans Pension and Survivors Pension benefit programs. The pensions are available to U.S. military veterans and widowed spouses of veterans. Pension benefits are needs-based and your “countable” family income must fall below the yearly limit set by Congress. We will discuss more about eligibility in Chapter 2.

Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and who require the aid and attendance of another person (or are housebound) may be eligible for additional monthly payments above the normal pension amount. When applying for Aid & Attendance, if you are not already receiving a pension, you must also submit a basic pension application in order to qualify. Financial qualifications for Aid & Attendance are different than financial qualifications for the basic pension alone. Therefore, some people qualify for Aid & Attendance even though they would not have qualified solely for the basic pension.

Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and are housebound may qualify for an additional benefit beyond the basic pension. Individuals who are confined to their immediate premises because of permanent disability, typically leaving only to attend doctor appointments and other medically necessary treatments, or who require the assistance of another person when leaving the home, may be considered housebound.

The amount of the award depends on the income of the applicant and the actual costs of care they pay monthly, but it is helpful to know the maximum annual benefits allowed.

Chapter One

Chapter One Basic Pension For Veterans

Single Veteran
$1,161/ MO
Veteran with Spouse or One Dependent
$1,521/ MO
Two Veterans Married To Each Other
$1,521/ MO

The application and approval process for Aid & Attendance can be frustratingly slow. It can take weeks for families to gather the necessary documents and complete the paperwork. The approval process itself averages almost nine months, but a complete and accurate application can be processed much more quickly. Applicants who are age 90 or older may request an expedited review in a cover letter with their application.

While the approval process averages nine months, it pays retroactively upon approval of eligibility. This means the first benefit payment includes a lump sum to cover the months that the application was pending.

Benefits are directly deposited to the bank account of the veteran or surviving spouse each month.

Paper checks are no longer issued.

Get the entirety of chapter one and the remaining chapters of our Guide To VA Benefits & Long Term Care eBook by downloading it below!