World War II
Congress through the Department of Veterans Affairs enacted an entitlement program in the early 1950's known as The Enhanced Pension with "Aid & Attendance" Benefit. This program may, to eligible veterans and surviving spouses, offset the costs of:
This lesser understood and known VA benefit is available to every Wartime Veteran that meets the following criteria:
Surviving spouses are also eligible. They must have been married for at least one complete year and could not have been divorced prior to the Veteran's death.
Pension is a benefit paid to wartime Veterans who have limited or no income, and who are age 65 or older, or, if under 65, who are permanently and totally disabled. Veterans who are more seriously disabled may qualify for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits. These are benefits that are paid in addition to the basic pension rate.
Generally, you may be eligible if:
As you can see, there are a number of criteria that may affect your eligibility to pension benefits. If you are unsure if you meet all criteria, we encourage you to meet with our team to discuss your individual circumstances, before filing an application, particularly if your countable income appears to be near the maximum. VA will determine if you are eligible and notify you. If you do not initially qualify, you may reapply if you have un-reimbursed medical expenses during the twelve month period after VA receives your claim that bring your countable income below the yearly income limit. (These are expense you have paid for medical services or products for which you will not be reimbursed by Medicare or private medical insurance). Our staff of experienced individuals is knowledgeable regarding the development and disclosure of (UME's) un-reimbursed medical expenses, and can guide you through multiple scenarios to meet the income eligibility test.
This includes income received by the veteran and his or her dependents, if any, from most sources. It includes earnings, rental income, disability and retirement payments, interest and dividends, and net income from farming or a business.
There is a presumption that all of a child's income is available to or for the veteran. VA may grant an exception in hardship cases.
Net worth means the net value of the assets of the veteran and his or her dependents. It includes such assets as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and any property other than the veteran's residence and a reasonable lot area. There is no set limit on how much net worth a veteran and his dependents can have, but net worth cannot be deemed excessive. The decision as to whether a claimant's net worth is excessive depends on the facts of each individual case. All net worth should be reported and VA will determine if a claimant's assets are sufficiently large that the claimant could live off these assets for a reasonable period of time. VA's needs-based programs are not intended to protect substantial assets or build up an estate for the benefit of heirs. The IRS life expectancy tables can be used to determine what is deemed excessive and various estate and asset transfer techniques can be used to meet eligibility requirements.
Yes, there are exclusions. The following are examples of what may be excluded:
Your annual pension is calculated by first totaling all your countable income. Then any deductions are subtracted from that total. The remaining countable income is deducted from the appropriate annual pension limit which is determined by the number of your dependents, if any, and whether or not you are entitled to housebound or aid and attendance benefits. This amount is then divided by 12 and rounded down to the nearest dollar. This gives you the amount of your monthly payment.
A veteran cannot receive both Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits at the same time.
You cannot receive a VA non-service connected pension and service-connected compensation at the same time. However, if you apply for pension and are awarded payments, VA will pay you whichever benefit is the greater amount.