Eligible veterans should be aware of a federal assistance program known as Aid and Attendance (also known as the Veterans Disability Pension) that can assist in the cost of care. Aid and Attendance was established in 1952 to assist veterans who had become disabled or frail and had trouble living on their own. This VA pension can be used to help pay for in-home care or be put towards the cost of assisted living facility or other medical needs.
To be eligible the veteran would have to have served at least 90 days of active service, at least one day during a period of war and have been honorably discharged. Eligibility is somewhat different for those who served after September 7, 1980. An unremarried surviving spouse of a qualifying veteran may also be eligible for benefits.
To qualify medically, the veteran or widow/widower must need assistance with activities of daily living (dressing, bathing, managing medication, etc.), be blind or be in a nursing home or assisted living facility due to physical or cognitive problems.
There are also some financial requirements including liquid assets less than $80,000 (excluding home and auto), and countable income insufficient to meet care needs. All family income including Social Security income is counted for this purpose. The veteran or spouse will also have to produce documentation, including the Discharge/Separation paperwork (DD-214), bank account and income verification, expense documentation and information from a physician that verifies the medical condition.
This pension could help pay for care expenses in the home or in a facility as well as medication, doctor appointments, medical supplies etc.