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FAQ about the Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Pension Benefit

We know there are many aging veterans who served our country proudly. From working with many veterans to coordinate senior living, we know firsthand that many are unaware of the Aid & Attendance benefit when they come to us.

The aging experts at Commonwealth Senior Living thought it might help our veterans and their caregivers if we answered the most common questions we receive about the Aid & Attendance benefit.

Q: What are the Aid & Attendance and Homebound benefits?

A: These are benefits paid to veterans who require the aid and attendance of another person for activities of daily living or for those who are homebound. They are a part of the veteran’s pension benefit, but are awarded in addition to the veteran’s basic monthly pension.

Q: Can a veteran receive both the Aid & Attendance benefit and the Homebound benefit at the same time?

A: No. A veteran cannot receive both awards simultaneously.

Q: How long does it take for these benefits to be approved by the VA?

A: Unfortunately, this is not a quick process. On average, it can take between six and 10 months for benefits to be approved. If your loved one or their surviving spouse is aged 90 or greater, you can ask the VA to consider expediting the application. The good news is that, if approved, the benefit is awarded retroactively to the time of application.

Q: Does the VA conduct a “look back” for a certain period of time like Medicaid does?

A: No. Under current laws there is no look back period under the Veteran’s Administration.

Q: If my parents were divorced at the time my father (the veteran) died is my mother eligible for Aid & Attendance benefits?

A: Typically speaking the answer is NO. The VA has, on limited occasions, taken in to consideration a divorce cause by physical abuse or extreme mental cruelty.

Richard Brewer

Commonwealth Assisted Living

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