The VA Aid and Attendance Pension Program Can Help Eligible Veterans Pay for the Cost of Long-Term Care | SB Elder Law

The VA Aid and Attendance Pension Program Can Help Eligible Veterans Pay for the Cost of Long-Term Care

The Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit provides eligible veterans with tax-free pension income payments. This benefit also extends to surviving spouses of eligible wartime veterans. A married veteran can receive up to $2,903 per month to help with the cost of long-term care while a surviving spouse can receive nearly $1,176 per month. We at Santa Barbara Estate Planning and Elder Law can help you to determine whether you qualify for this benefit.

The benefit is paid directly to the veteran by the United States Treasury and does not need to be paid back. It can be used to pay anyone, including the veteran’s child, for home care. It can also be used to pay for professional care in the home, assisted living, nursing home care, insurance premiums, prescription drugs, co-pays, and more. In essence, Aid and Attendance can help an eligible veteran or widowed spouse live at home for as long as possible while still receiving the care he or she needs and protecting hard-earned assets.

To be eligible for Aid and Attendance a veteran must:

  • Have served 90 days or more of active duty, with at least one of those days taking place during a period of wartime
  • Have received a discharge other than dishonorable
  • Have medical expenses or care needs
  • Meet financial guidelines established by the VA

For a surviving spouse to be eligible for Aid and Attendance, he or she must have been married to an eligible veteran for at least one year and never remarried.

Many veterans mistakenly believe that they have too much in the way of assets or income to qualify for the VA Pension Benefit. While it is true that the VA requires veterans and their surviving spouses to qualify both medically and financially, it is not necessary to run out of money before you can begin receiving benefits. Through the use of available exemptions and proper planning, an eligible veteran may be able to qualify for the VA Pension Benefit without having to spend all of his or money paying for care.

To learn more about this valuable benefit, visit

If you have any questions, feel free to schedule a Long Term Care Consultation with Santa Barbara Estate Planning and Elder Law, and let us know that you are a veteran trying to determine if you qualify for this Veteran’s Benefit.

Author Bio

Julianna Malis is the Founder and Managing Partner of Santa Barbara Estate Planning & Elder Law, a Santa Barbara estate planning law firm she founded in 2014. With more than 25 years of experience practicing law, she has dedicated her career to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including estate planning, elder law, Medicaid and Medicare planning, probate, and other estate planning areas.

Julianna received her Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific — McGeorge School of Law and is a member of the California State Bar Association.

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