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3 things to know about the VA Aid and Attendance benefit

Many veterans and their families are aware that there are benefits available to them; however, there are some benefits that are more well-known than others. One of the lesser-known benefits is the Aid and Attendance benefit, sometimes called A&A.

The Aid and Attendance benefit can be extremely helpful to veterans and their families. Here are three things you should know about this benefit.

1. VA Aid and Attendance adds to the monthly VA pension rate

With A&A, if you qualify, you could receive a tax-free amount of money each month in addition to your VA pension benefit. There are various criteria required for eligibility. The main requirement is that, in addition to being eligible for a VA pension, you require the aid and attendance of another person for your daily activities and care.

A&A can also be used to help cover the costs of nursing home care if you are there due to mental or physical incapacity, or the benefit may provide additional income for your care if you are confined to your bed due to a disability.

2. There are specific criteria to qualify for A&A

The VA stipulates several criteria that can make a person eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit. These criteria include, but are not limited to: being in a nursing home; requiring the aid of another person for your necessary daily care (bathing, dressing, feeding, etc.); or having limited eyesight (corrected 5/200 visual acuity in one or both eyes). If you meet one of the specified conditions, you may qualify for the benefit.

3. The application process can be complex

Because this benefit is a tax-free monetary amount in addition to a regular VA pension, the application process is strictly monitored and checked to prevent fraud. The process includes a thorough examination of documentation that shows how you qualify according to the VA's specific criteria for the A&A benefit. Any assets you hold or income you receive make up part of this assessment, as well as unreimbursed medical expenses. 

The VA bureaucracy is vast and complex. In order to have a better chance of success in your benefits application, especially when it comes to the little-known Aid and Attendance benefit, you should consult with an attorney who has experience helping clients apply for VA benefits.

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