Do Veterans Benefits help cover the cost of Assisted Living?

by McKenzie Millis, Healthcare Marketing Specialist

When preparing to make a move to Assisted Living, it is common to ask “How I am going to pay for this service?” The primary payer sources for Assisted Living are paying privately and Long Term Care Insurance. If finances are of concern, it is important to keep in mind that if you served in the military, or if your spouse served in the military during active wartime, then you may be eligible for the VA Aid and Attendance Program.

The Department of Veteran Affairs offers a special benefit to war-era veterans and their surviving spouses called “Aid and Attendance.”  This tax-free benefit is designed to provide financial assistance to help cover the cost of long-term care in the home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home.

Veterans Benefits for Assisted Living

This Benefit is for those veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person or caregiver in at least two of the daily activities of living, such as dressing, bathing, feeding, grooming, or personal hygiene needs. It also provides a secure protective environment.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must have served at least 90 days of active duty with at least one day during a period of war
  • Must have anything other than a Dishonorable discharge
  • A surviving spouse must have been married to the veteran at the time of his passing
  • Must require the assistance of another person to perform some of the daily activities of living
  • Must meet income and countable asset criteria established by the VA, and
  • Must be 65 years and older or totally disabled

Eligible Wartime Periods

Under current law, TheVA recognizes the following wartime periods to determine eligibility for VA Pension benefits:

  • World War I (April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918)
  • World War II (December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946)
  • Korean conflict (June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955)
  • Vietnam era (February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975)
  • Gulf War (August 2, 1990 – through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation)

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