Veterans Aid and Attendance Program

Aid and Attendance is a federal assistance program offering a monthly payment from the Department of Veterans Affairs designed to provide care for Veterans and/or surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist with eating, bathing, dressing, undressing, medication dosing or other activities of daily living.  Anyone on Aid and Attendance also automatically qualifies for VA health care benefits, like prescription coverage and hospital and physician care.

This is a “Pension Benefit” and IS NOT dependent upon service-related injuries for compensation. Aid and Attendance can help pay for care in the home, Nursing Home or Assisted Living facility..

Benefit Overview

  • With the benefit in hand, you are able to afford the care you need.
  • You never have to pay it back and it is completely tax free.
  • Like Social Security, this pension is dependable and is paid directly to you by the Department of the Treasury.
  • This benefit can be used for in-home care, board and care, assisted living communities, and private-pay nursing homes.
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Most people who have heard about Pension know that it will cover the costs of assisted living and, in some cases, cover nursing home costs as well. But the majority of those receiving long term care in this country are in their homes. Estimates are that approximately 70% to 80% of all long term care is being provided in the home. All of the information available about Pension overlooks the fact that this benefit should be used to pay for home care. Maybe if more people knew this fact, more people would be applying for the benefit.

Service Eligibility

To receive Pension, a veteran must have served on active duty, at least 90 days, during a period of war. There must be an honorable discharge. Single surviving spouses of such veterans are also eligible. If younger than 65, the veteran must be totally disabled. If age 65 and older, there is no requirement for disability. There is no disability requirement for a single surviving spouse.

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The foremost eligibility requirement is the service requirement. The veteran must have served at least 1 day during wartime. The dates that the VA considers wartime are below:

  • World War II: 12/7/1941 through 12/31/1946
  • Korean Conflict: 6/27/1950 through 1/31/1955
  • Vietnam War: 8/5/1964 through 5/7/1975, although veterans who served in Vietnam itself ("in country") as early as 2/28/1961 may also qualify.
  • Gulf War: 8/2/1990 to date to be determined by U.S. government