The Department of Health and Human Services has reported that about 40 percent of people 65 and older will enter a nursing home at some point in their lives. Roughly 10 percent of those will stay for five years or longer. For veterans, there is an often unused assistance program which can pay for nursing home or caregiver costs for those on limited income. Known as the Aid and Attendance program, it is available to anyone who meets the veteran’s pension eligibility criteria.
To qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a veteran must first qualify for the veteran’s pension. You cannot have been dishonorably discharged, and you must have served 90 days or more of active duty with at least one of those days during time of war. Veterans must also be either 65 or older or permanently and totally disabled. There are also specific income limits which apply, though these change by year and differ depending on whether you are single, married, have dependents, or upon other conditions.
Anyone eligible for the veteran’s pension can also receive the AA benefit if one or more conditions are met. The veteran must either require an in-home caregiver for everyday living activities, such as bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom, or be bed ridden, be patient in a nursing home, or be legally blind.
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