When it comes to veterans’ home care or any other type of veteran’s benefits, the question about eligibility for the spouse is one of the most common questions that arise. People often ask, "are spouses eligible for veterans home care?"
What is veterans’ home care?
Veterans’ home care refers to the assistance that can be provided by a professional in-home care provider so that they can remain living comfortably in their own home, even if they have physical health challenges, or even mental ones, that make it difficult to do so without help. Home care is help with “activities of daily living” (ADLs) such as: bathing, dressing, using the toilet, grooming, meal preparation and feeding oneself and moving about safely.
There are a number of benefit programs from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that are designed to help veterans in the years after their military service, including programs for recovery, health problems, and even aging.
The VA has some benefits for veteran spouses
When it comes to spouses (wives or husbands of veterans), some programs and benefits that are available to the veteran are also available to the spouse. There are certain conditions that need to be met, of course, in order to qualify. Knowing that some of the programs to assist veterans are also available to their spouses can alleviate a great deal of stress. You should also know that there are three separate branches of the VA offering benefits: Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), and the National Cemetery Administration (NCA). Surviving Spouses or family members cannot access care through the VHA, but they may qualify for other programs such as: Aid and Attendance, TRICARE, The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, and The Camp Lejeune Family Member Program.
Programs also vary from state to state, so you may want to check with your state's veterans service commission.
How to access Aid and Attendance for veteran spouses
What’s often referred to as “Aid and Attendance” is offered through the VHA. This benefit is an additional amount that can be added to a survivor's pension or compensation payment to be used for home care, assisted living facilities, and other long term care expenses. Aid and Attendance covers the cost of help with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, etc.
If you have an elderly loved one, such as your mother, who is struggling to take care of herself at home and your father was a veteran, she may be eligible for the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit program. This is also known as the “Survivor’s Pension with Aid and Attendance.” It’s a monetary amount paid monthly up to $1,209 per month (as of 12/2021).
The VA Pension with Aid and Attendance is available to married veterans (veterans and their spouses), as long as the military veteran is in need of in-home assistance and qualifies for it. A veteran could receive up to $1,881 per month while a married veteran could receive up to $2,230 per month (as of 12/2021.)
Surviving spouse eligibility for Aid and Attendance
If the veteran is deceased, the surviving spouse may be eligible for Aid and Attendance as long as the veteran met the military guidelines and the spouse meets the medical and net worth guidelines. A surviving spouse must also have been married to the veteran at the time of the veteran’s death and married for at least one year. In most circumstances, the spouse is only eligible if he/she has not remarried.
In order to qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit, the veteran must have served in active duty for at least ninety (90) days in one of the armed forces. This would be the Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force or the Coast Guard. If the veteran was in the Reserves, and did not serve active duty during a wartime, he/she will not qualify.
Another requirement is that the military veteran must have served at least one day during a period of war. This is one of the key requirements that can make one ineligible. While wartime service is required, combat duty, overseas service or a disability incurred during service is NOT required. (Gulf war veterans are required to have two years of active duty or the full period for which they were called for active duty.)
Getting help with the VA Aid and Attendance application
The VA application process can be daunting for many. We do not recommend navigating the paperwork alone. If you or your loved one chooses to use your Aid and Attendance funds primarily for veterans’ home care, please call us. We never charge for help with the VA application. If we're unable to help you, we can refer you to a veteran service officer for free assistance.
Veterans Home Care®, a private, family-owned company, offers the VetAssist® Program for both veterans and their surviving spouses. The VetAssist Program is more than help with VA paperwork. It's an array of services found no where else.
Through our unique VetAssist® Program, we can help you get home care started soon, before VA funding arrives. Check your eligibility online or call Veterans Home Care® to learn more: 888-314-6075 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.