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The Aid & Attendance Pension for Veterans – a benefit you may not have heard of


If you’re a veteran with medical expenses, you may qualify for a Special Pension for Veterans, which could provide you with up to $1,949 per month, even if your disability is not service-connected.

This little-known pension benefit, commonly known as Aid and Attendance (A&A), can provide a monthly income to offset the cost of needed medical care. It’s available to veterans and the widowed spouses of veterans who meet the eligibility and income criteria.

Who is Eligible?

The initial determination of a veteran’s eligibility relates to their time of service:

  • A veteran must have served at least 90  days of active duty service, one day of which must have been during a “wartime period” which is defined as:
    • World War II – December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946
    • Korean War – June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955
    • Vietnam Conflict – August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975
    • February 28, 1961-May 7, 1975 if served in the country of Vietnam
    • Persian Gulf War – August 2, 1990 – present
  • It’s important to note that the veteran does not have to have served overseas.
  • The veteran must have received a discharge other than dishonorable.

Next the veteran’s income and assets are evaluated, as well as their level of disability and need for medical assistance, usually in-home care, assisted living, or nursing home care. The Aid & Attendance Pension is need-based, both in terms of financial need and medical need.

Medical Expenses Can Reduce the Income Level

You may think that you have too much income or too many assets to qualify, but the Veterans’ Administration allows you to reduce that amount by your unreimbursed medical expenses. This is a broad category of expenses, including doctors’ fees, glasses, monthly premiums, deductibles and co-pays, prescription medications, transportation to doctor’s offices and therapy costs, to name a few. And, perhaps most importantly, if you are currently paying for any home health care costs, assisted living facilities or nursing home care, that can be deducted as well. Those costs can range anywhere from $1,000 – 10,000 per month or more, and can quickly bring the income and asset levels of a veteran to a level where they would qualify for benefits.

The veteran or the widowed spouse must also demonstrate a physical need for assistance and generally be unable to care for themselves. Typically, if he or she is already in need of home health care, assisted living or nursing home care, he or she will meet the qualification threshold.

How do I get this benefit?

Not everyone can assist you in obtaining this benefit. It is illegal for anyone to charge you a fee for filling out the paperwork for the Aid & Attendance benefit. In addition, anyone who assists you (other than a family member assisting another family member on a one-time basis) with a Veterans’ Administration (VA) application must be accredited by the VA, an employee of the VA directly, or a member of a Veterans’ Service Organization.

Seek out an attorney who is accredited by the Veteran’s Administration who can help you get the benefit you need.

If you are in the Lubbock, TX or West Texas area, give us a call at 806-765-8801 and we will be happy to discuss your situation.