How Can You Determine if You’re Eligible for VA Aid and Attendance Benefit Payments? What Are the Application Steps?

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Are You Eligible for Aid & Attendance?

Are you a veteran who served this nation during a period of war? Are you aware that you may be eligible for “Aid and Attendance” benefits through the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs)? If you qualify and need these benefits, a Waco VA Aid and Attendance lawyer will help you obtain them.

The life of a military veteran may not be easy. Veterans and their families may face unique challenges. The Veterans Affairs Department provides a number of services and benefits that address both the medical and financial challenges that many veterans and veterans’ families face.

VA Aid and Attendance, for example, is a tax-free benefit provided to thousands of veterans who served our nation during wartime. A veteran’s widowed spouse may also be eligible to receive Aid and Attendance benefit payments.

How can you know if you are eligible to receive VA Aid and Attendance payments? What steps should you take to apply for these benefits? And when should you contact a Waco VA Aid and Attendance attorney for help with obtaining Aid and Attendance?

Who is Eligible to Receive Aid and Attendance Benefit Payments?

The eligibility requirements for VA Aid and Attendance benefits are somewhat extensive. The veteran must have been on active duty for a minimum of ninety days, with at least one of those days in a wartime period: The Gulf War, the Vietnam or Korean War, or the Second World War.

The veteran does not need to have served in combat, and the veteran’s discharge cannot have been dishonorable. If the veteran has passed away, the surviving spouse may qualify to receive the benefits if the veteran met these requirements during his or her lifetime.

Veterans who are under 65 must be 100% disabled to be eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits, although the disability did not have to occur while the veteran was serving. Benefit applications must be accompanied by the medical evidence of the veteran’s disability rating, if applicable. The veteran (or the surviving spouse) must have a medical need for assistance.

What Are the Financial Requirements?

Income and asset limits, along with payment amounts for VA Aid and Attendance benefits, are adjusted each year. Your annual income may not exceed your Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR) as determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and as of 2023, your assets may not surpass $150,537.

Maximum Annual Pension Rates are also adjusted each year, and in 2023, the rate for a single veteran is $26,752; for a veteran with one dependent, $31,714; for a single surviving spouse, $17,888; and the 2023 MAPR for a surviving spouse with one dependent is $21,130.

Also as of 2023, a single veteran who qualifies for VA Aid and Attendance benefits may be paid $2,229 per month, and a surviving spouse may receive $1,432 per month. A married veteran may receive $2,642 a month.

How Does the VA Calculate Your Income and Assets?

Some Texas veterans don’t even know about Aid and Attendance benefits. Others assume they do not qualify for the benefits after reviewing the income and asset limits. However, the income requirements aren’t based on your gross income, and part of your assets are probably exempt.

For example, the home a veteran or spouse owns (on up to a two-acre lot) will not be counted as an asset, even if the veteran or spouse is currently residing in a nursing home facility.

However, there is a three-year “lookback” period to determine if you transferred assets in order to meet the eligibility requirements. Veterans who have made financial transactions during the three years before they apply for Aid and Attendance benefits must disclose these transactions.

What Documentation Will You Need?

After reviewing your circumstances, a Waco VA Aid and Attendance lawyer can probably tell you if you are eligible to receive Aid and Attendance benefit payments. Have your attorney help you with the paperwork to ensure its accuracy so that nothing disqualifies you or delays your benefits.

You should include the following documents when you apply for Aid and Attendance benefit payments:

  1. an original copy of your DD-214 military discharge papers
  2. a copy of your Social Security award letter for the current year
  3. proof of your income, assets, insurance premiums, and unreimbursed medical expenses

You may request replacements for lost original discharge papers from the National Archives. When you have compiled these documents, you and your attorney will then fill out and file VA Form 21-2680. If you are living at a nursing home, you also have to file VA Form 21-0779.

What Can You Do if Your Application is Rejected?

If for any reason your benefits application is rejected, you will need to contact your Waco VA Aid and Attendance attorney as quickly as possible.

Formally appealing a decision to deny Aid and Attendance payments can take time – up to three years in some cases – but you have other alternatives. For instance, your lawyer can request a rehearing, where you may be approved for benefits without having to file a formal appeal.

However, most veterans who qualify and apply for these benefits will be approved, and when you are approved for Aid and Attendance benefits, your payments will be applied retroactively to the original date of your application.

Rainey & Rainey – Trusted by Veterans

Before you apply for Aid and Attendance benefits, you’ll need to speak with a lawyer who has substantial experience representing and advising veterans about their benefits. The right lawyer will guide you through the process and help you obtain the benefits that are rightfully yours.

James Rainey, one of the founding attorneys at Rainey & Rainey, was a JAG officer in the Army Reserve. He is dedicated to helping veterans obtain the benefits they have earned. Along with our team at Rainey & Rainey, attorney James Rainey will work proactively on your behalf.

With law offices in Georgetown and Waco, we work for veterans in and near the Waco area, the Austin area, and across the State of Texas. To find out more about Aid and Attendance benefits – or if you’ve been wrongly denied those benefits – call Rainey & Rainey now at 254-457-5083.

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