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VA Benefits that Make Senior Care Free

    How to Find VA Benefits that Make Senior Care Free

As a veteran, you know you have access to dozens of healthcare programs and benefits.  But there is one little-known benefit that will often pay for 100% of your senior care expenses.  After reading this article, you'll have three steps to finding and accessing this benefit - today.

1.  Finding the hidden benefit -
VA Aid & Attendance Pension.  This remarkable benefit pays $1,949.00  to $2,608 per month for the senior care of a veteran and surviving spouse, which is enough to cover the cost of most senior caregiver services.  To qualify a wartime veteran must be over 65, have need for senior care and have a limited income and net worth.


Age 65 or older or disabled (not due to willful misconduct of the veteran)
Have an honorable or general discharge.
Have a medical diagnosis that requires daily assistance with at least one or two of the following ADL’s: bathing, dressing, grooming, personal hygiene, toileting, ambulation, medication management, feeding, meal preparation, or the need to live in a protected environment.
Limited income and net worth that does not provide adequate maintenance. Whether a veteran or a claimant has excessive net worth is determined on case-by-case basis, contact us for more information.
Served at least 90 days active duty with at least one day during any of the following:
WWII – December 7, 1941 - Dec 31, 1946
Korea – June 27, 1950 - January 31, 1955
Vietnam Conflict – August 5, 1964 - May 7, 1975
Persian Gulf – August 2, 1990 to a date to be determined
Maximum Pension Rates 2009
Veteran with Spouse  -  $1,949.00
Single Veteran  -  $1,644.00
Veteran and Veteran Spouse  -  $2,608.00
Surviving Spouse  -  $1,056.00

2.  Get your documentation together.  In order to effectively complete the application, you'll need to get a series of documents in order.

Discharge / Separation Papers (DD-214)
Social Security Award Letter
Net Worth Statement
Income Statement
Healthcare expenditure statement - including senior care expenses
Physician's Statement
a Voided Check
Make copies of all these documents and keep them in a special file for quick reference.

3. Complete the Application. 
Veterans need to complete form 21-526, Veteran's Application for Compensation and / or Pension.  This twenty-three page form must be filled out perfectly so as to avoid processing delay.  Access the form here.

This little-known benefit is the hidden gem of the VA system.  After you've followed the three steps above, you'll be on your way to accessing the Aid & Attendance benefit. 

How to Apply for Aid and Attendance and Housebound:

You may apply for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits by writing to the VA regional office having jurisdiction of the claim.   That would be the office where you filed a claim for pension benefits.  If the regional office of jurisdiction is not known, you may file the request with any VA regional office.
You should include copies of any evidence, preferably a report from an attending physician validating the need for Aid and Attendance or Housebound type care.
The report should be in sufficient detail to determine whether there is disease or injury producing physical or mental impairment, loss of coordination, or conditions affecting the ability to dress and undress, to feed oneself, to attend to sanitary needs, and to keep oneself ordinarily clean and presentable.
In addition, it is necessary to determine whether the claimant is confined to the home or immediate premises.
Whether the claim is for Aid and Attendance or Housebound, the report should indicate how well the individual gets around, where the individual goes, and what he or she is able to do during a typical day.

You may download and fill out VA Form 21-526, Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension.   Make sure you download all parts of the application as well as the instructions for filling out the forms.   If available, attach copies of dependency records (marriage & childrens birth certificates).

Chicago Regional Office
2122 W Taylor Street
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone: 800-827-1000