Veterans' Legal Aid | Helping those who fought for our freedom.

What are Aid and Attendance Benefits?

Active duty veterans and surviving spouses are entitled to “maximum annual rates of improved pension” if they meet certain criteria. Many veterans with non-service related disabilities qualify for this pension if they are in need of “aid and attendance” and have high out-of-pocket (unreimbursed) healthcare expenses.


The VA defines aid and attendance as “helplessness or being so nearly helpless as to require the regular aid and attendance of another person.”

For example, persons in need of aid and attendance can include veterans or surviving spouses who are unable to perform at least one of the following tasks without regular assistance:

  • Dress or undress
  • Keep him/herself clean (or presentable)
  • Inability to feed him/herself (because of loss of use of upper extremities or extreme weakness)
  • Inability to use the bathroom without assistance
  • Physical or mental incapacity (when such incapacity requires another person to regularly protect the claimant from hazards or dangers “incident to his or her daily environment)

Here are some examples of unreimbursed medical expenses:

  • Assisted Living facility fees, to the extent they are paid out-of-pocket
  • Recurring prescription drug co-pays
  • Doctor visit co-pays
  • Home health caregivers
  • Incontinence supplies

The content contained on this website is for illustrative and informational purposes only. The content on this website does not constitute legal advice.