For veterans, one alternative to Medicaid nursing home benefits are VA Aid and Attendance benefits. This benefit may be especially attractive to a veteran, or their surviving spouse, who requires in-home care or assistance, but does not necessarily require a full service nursing home.

The Aid and Attendance is a benefit that is an add-on to the VA Basic Pension. To be eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits a veteran must have not been dishonorably discharged and served during a wartime period. The wartime period requirement does not, however, mean that veteran had to have seen combat. Any service that included one day during a period of war qualifies. Aid and Attendance benefits also have income and asset limits for eligibility.

Additionally, the veteran, or their surviving spouse, must have some sort of disability. This disability can range from needing assistance with daily living activities to a full disability that leaves someone bedridden or needing full-time nursing home care. The disability also does not need to have been related to the veteran’s military service.

If a veteran does have a service related disability, then they may be eligible for higher benefits than what they would receive through Aid and Attendance benefits. This service related disability benefit would be in place of Aid and Attendance benefits and does not have income or asset limits for eligibility.

Both Aid and Attendance benefits and service related disability benefits would also make likely make a person ineligible for the Medicaid nursing home benefit due to Medicaid’s relatively strict income and asset limits.

Veterans, or their spouses, seeking help in paying for either in-home care or a nursing home should meet with an experienced, local elder law attorney to discuss what the best benefit option is for their particular case.

To discuss your potential application for VA benefits, please call Martha C. Brown & Associates at (314) 962-0186.