Veterans who served at least 90 days active duty military, naval, or air service, with at least one of those days during wartime, may be eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits if they later develop a non service-related disability that renders the veteran or an eligible spouse/dependant requires another person to assist with activities of daily life (e.g. cannot get dressed, eat, bathe, etc. without help).
These are earned benefits, and are paid in addition to monthly pension for eligible veterans.
A veteran may be eligible* for Aid and Attendance benefits if all of the following criteria are met:
- The veteran was not dishonorably discharged from the military
- This means that the veteran may be ineligible if discharged for being AWOL, a consciencious objector, etc.
- The veteran served at least 90 days of active duty
- At least one day of active duty occurred during any of the following periods of war:
- Korean Conflict
- Vietnam Era
- Persian Gulf War (from August 1990 to the present; includes current Iraq war and Afghanistan veterans)
- Limited income and assets
- High medical expenses (out-of-pocket care expenses are almost equal to the Veteran or surviving spouse's income)
- The veteran is over 65 years-old OR is permanently 100% disabled (required if the veteran is claiming the benefits for him or herself)
- Disability can include any of the following:
- Veteran is a patient in a nursing home for long-term care, or
- Commissioner of Social Security determines that veteran is disabled, or
- Veteran is unemployable as a result of his/her disability, and this is reasonably certain to continue for the remainder of his/her life
- Veteran suffers from “any disease or disorder determined by the VA to be of such a nature . . . that [the person] suffering from that disease or disorder [is] permanently and totally disabled.”
- A veteran who is over the age of 65 does not need to prove that he or she is disabled, but must show that he or she is in need of aid and attendance (the VA normally requires a signed physician statement)