A common question that people have with regard to veterans home care is whether the spouse of an elderly veteran can qualify for the Aid and Attendance pension. One gentleman asked about his mother who had become a widow within the past year.
This gentleman’s father had served during the Korean War and even though he didn’t require any type of home care for himself, he had been taking care of his wife for more than two years. He never complained or thought about taking advantage of the system, but once he passed away, the financial resources to afford any type of home care for his widowed wife was limited.
The truth is that widows of veterans who would have qualified for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit are also likely to qualify for assistance as well. The surviving spouse must have been married to the qualifying veteran at the time of the veteran’s death and in most cases did not remarry. The marriage must have lasted at least one year.
If you have an elderly loved one who is widowed from a former military veteran, below are some things that you should know about the Aid and Attendance pension program at the VA offers.
The veteran’s military service.
The veteran would have had to serve at least 90 days of active duty service and one of the major branches of the US military. This would include the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.
At least one of those days of service would have had to have been during an official time of war. This does not mean the veteran would need to have served in a combat situation, but that he or she would have been in active duty during wartime as defined by Congress.
These times of official service include World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War. (Persian Gulf War veterans must have served two years of active duty or the full period for which they were called to active duty.)
The veteran would need to qualify for financial assistance to be able to afford home care. There are many agencies and organizations that promise to help veterans obtain the Aid and Attendance pension by moving financial assets around, thus hiding money from the government. However, this is not only wrong, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a three year look back period to counter these measures. This means they will check assets from the past three years to see if assets were moved or gifted in order to qualify for the VA benefit.
The widow, in this case, would also need to have a doctor recommendation stating that she or he requires some type of home care. If you believe that your mother or another elderly loved one may qualify through the Aid and Attendance pension program for their former veteran spouse, you can contact the VA to find out more. If your loved one would like to use her VA Aid and Attendance benefits primarily for in home care, we recommend our VetAssist Program to help with paperwork and to get care started right away.
To speak with a VetAssist Program enrollment specialist for a no-obligation consultation call toll free (888) 314-6075. Or, click here to quickly determine if you may be eligible for the VetAssist Program: Free Eligibility Checklist.