What is the VA’s Aid and Attendance Benefits?

Veterans who need assistance with everyday living may not realize that they can get additional financial support from the VA to cope.  The VA’s Aid and Attendance benefits program may be worth checking out. Wartime veterans who already received a VA pension may qualify. This assistance is not as well-known but is available for veterans who are in a nursing home or are spend all their time at home because of one or more disabling conditions.

What is the VA’s Aid and Attendance Benefits?

Because living assistance may increase a veteran’s expenses, this stipend can help offset the extra cost of that help.

Aid and Attendance Benefits

This is a benefit available to low-income veterans and their spouses who qualify for the VA pension. Whether they need in-home care assistance with everyday tasks like bathing, dressing, eating, etc., or if they live full time in a nursing home, Aid and Attendance can help make it easier to pay for their care.

A VA pension is not the same thing as military retirement pay. The VA pension is for veterans who have a financial need and a discharge that is not classified as dishonorable.

Aid and Attendance is not an automatic benefit. The veteran must apply for it separately.

The VA also has limits on income and assets, including a cap on the net worth at $129,094 for both. The veteran’s home is excluded up to a lot of two acres, even if the veteran resides in a nursing home. Medical expenses can be deducted from that limit. However, qualification is somewhat similar to Medicaid’s requirements. The VA has a three-year “lookback period” that examines whether any assets were gifted or sold below market value to lower the asset limit.


A veteran who served on active duty for at least 90 consecutive days which includes at least one full day during a time of war can be eligible for Aid and Attendance if they also qualify for the basic veterans’ pension and meet the financial and medical requirements. The veteran’s service does not have to include time in a combat zone.

For the veteran who went into active duty on or about September 7th, 1980, they must have at least 24 months of service with at least one day during a time of war, or other hostilities.  A widowed spouse of an eligible veteran may also qualify if they meet the same medical and income requirements and never remarried.

The Wartime Veteran

To qualify for the VA’s aid and attendance benefits, the veteran is required to be a veteran of wartime service. Those dates include:

World War II—December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946
Korean Conflict—June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955
Vietnam Era

o February 28, 1961, through May 7, 1975, for veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the period
o August 5, 1964, through May 7, 1975, for those who did not

Gulf War—August 2, 1990, through a future end date set by law or Presidential proclamation or law (the VA considers this war to be still in effect)

The veteran must also meet one of the following requirements to qualify for a basic pension:

• Age 65 or older with no little to no income
• Be permanently and totally disabled
• Receive Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI)
• Receive Social Security disability insurance (SSDI)
• Live in a nursing home

Surviving spouses may also be able to apply under the same criteria.

Need Help? Work With A Houston VA Disability Attorney

Call The Herren Law Firm in Houston at 713-682-8194 (or use our online contact form) to schedule your free consultation for VA disability and other benefits. Our contingency fee basis means you won’t owe a fee until we win your case, and there’s no obligation.

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