VA Spouse Benefits
Aid and Attendance for Spouse
Those who have actively served in our country’s armed forces during wartime are not the only ones eligible for benefits. Their spouses, who may recently have been widowed by the loss of their loved one, may also be eligible. There are multiple benefits available to widowed spouses of veterans, but for those who need long-term care, the main benefit is called Aid and Attendance.
Senior Planning can help. Knowing how the process works, and knowing what you are eligible for, can help you make the right decision for you or your family.
In general, surviving spouses of deceased veterans need to make sure they meet four main criteria. These criteria are things like former spousal military employment, medical need, income requirements, and current marriage status.
Military requirements- To be eligible for Aid and Attendance, surviving spouses must have had a veteran spouse who served at least 90 days of active duty, with at least one day during active wartime, and with an honorable/general discharge.
The VA designates active war periods as follows:
- World War II- December 7, 1941-December 31, 1946
- Korean Conflict: June 27, 1950-January 31, 1955
- Vietnam Era: August 5, 1964-May 7, 1975.
(Those who served from February 28, 1961-August 5, 1964, must have done their service in Vietnam.)
- Gulf War: August 2, 1990 – ongoing.
Medical Requirements- To meet this requirement an applicant must have a medical condition that impairs their ability to live day-to-day life safely and without assistance. When applying, it is helpful to submit medical records and a description of a day-to-day routine.
Income Requirements- To better assist those in financial need, the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran must have a net worth (yearly income + assets) below a certain threshold. Ongoing and non-reimbursable medical expenses may go toward reducing this net worth. This amount changes each year so please contact us to get the most up to date figure.
Marriage Status- You must have been married to a wartime veteran for the space of at least one year. You must also have been married to this veteran at the time of his or her death. For those who have been remarried, they may not qualify. There are specific restrictions as to remarriage and divorce so call Senior Planning today to see if you still might be eligible. Those who meet these requirements may be eligible for VA Aid and Attendance benefits. Based on individual circumstances each application is different.
Many People Do not Realize They Can Get Benefits
Because they did not directly serve in combat, many spouses of veterans who served during wartime do not realize that they, too, can receive financial benefits until a crisis forces them to act.
If you, or someone you know, are the surviving spouse of a veteran who served during wartime, do not be afraid to reach out to get help for daily living expenses and assistance. Even if you or someone you know does not need medical care currently, it pays to plan ahead because the application takes many months to go through.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much am I Eligible for through Aid and Attendance?
Surviving spouses of a deceased veteran may be eligible for a substantial amount of benefit money under the Aid and Attendance program. This is to help with living expenses and pay the costs of care. Aid and Attendance is for those in need of help with activities of daily living. The award amount changes each year so give us a call to find the most up-to-date benefit amount.
How Long do VA Aid and Attendance Applications take?
If you or someone you know needs care at home or is currently living in a facility but struggling to pay the bills, do not delay. It is surprising to a lot of people, but applications can take an exceptionally long time to process at the VA. Applications for Aid and Attendance often take several months from submission date to approval. To ensure the quickest possible application time, make sure all information provided to the VA is complete and correct.
When should I apply for VA Aid and Attendance for long term care?
It is imperative that anyone seeking benefits get the application process started as soon as possible. Doing this will make sure there’s as little as possible delay between when you need assistance and when you are able to get assistance. If you have live-in care requirements and you cannot meet the costs out-of-pocket, contact us and get the help you need to determine which benefits might be right for you.
Who can help me with my VA Aid and Attendance Application?
If you need help filing a claim for Aid and Attendance, you may want to think about working with a certified claims agent. We have helped many people get in touch with certified claims agents to help them get the aid they need, including surviving spouses across the nation. Surviving spouses of deceased veterans, if you need assistance to live your day-to-day life, your spouse served during wartime, and your income is below a certain level, you may be eligible for assistance. Call us today and we can connect you with someone that can help.