VETERANS BENEFITS FOR LONG TERM CARE

Veterans or widow(er)s of veterans may be entitled to a non-service connected monthly pension to offset long term health care costs such as home health care, assisted living or nursing homes.

The main requirements for a pension for a veteran or widow(er) are:

  1. the veteran served at least 90 days of consecutive active duty service, one day of which was during a war-time period;
  2. the veteran’s discharge was not dishonorable;
  3. the claimant’s income and assets are under certain limits; and
  4. the claimant has a permanent and total disability.The claimant’s annual medical expenses should exceed or be close to the amount of annual income. Medical expenses include health insurance premiums, prescription costs, caregivers, home health aides and the cost of an assisted living facility or nursing home. If the claimant is a married veteran, the medical expenses of both the veteran and the spouse will be counted.
  5. There is no specified limit on the amount of assets, but the VA will look at whether a claimant has sufficient means to pay for health care, taking into account the annual health care costs, and the claimant’s life expectancy. Assets that will not be counted in the analysis are the home, car and personal belongings.

The maximum non-service connected pension is called Aid and Attendance, and is available to a veteran or widow(er) who is either blind, living in a nursing home, or in need of assistance to manage the activities of daily living.

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