What is Aid & Attendance and who qualifies?
Aid and Attendance is a benefit issued by the Veterans Administration, and it can be paid out to the actual veteran or the spouse of a veteran, provided that he/she has not remarried. In order to qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits, it will be necessary to have served at least 90 consecutive days on active service in the Military, and in addition at least one full day must have been served during war time. For the purposes of this benefit, there are four distinct periods of war time, defined as follows:
- World War II – this period extends from December 7, 1941 (Pearl Harbor attack) through December 31, 1946
- Korean Conflict (never officially declared a war) – June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955
- Vietnam War – February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975
- Gulf War – August 2, 1990 through some date still to be determined (which means it is still in effect).
In addition to the two requirements referenced above, any eligible candidates will also have to be eligible for basic Veterans Pension, and must also meet various financial and clinical requirements. The question of eligibility can get to be fairly complicated, and ultimately it will be decided by the Veterans Administration itself. Assuming that you meet the requirements already mentioned, you will probably be eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits.
Purpose of the Aid and Attendance benefit
This benefit is meant to help veterans who require aid in their normal daily activities. If you need someone else to help you bathe, dress, or prepare meals, you may be eligible for the benefit. Another criterion for eligibility is that you are housebound and bed-ridden, meaning that you are unable to get out of bed each day because of some illness. Any veteran who has been placed in nursing home as a result of declining mental or physical abilities may also be eligible to receive these benefits. One last way to qualify for the Aid benefit is if your eyesight is so poor that you only have 5/200 vision in one or both eyes.
There is also a variation of the Aid and Attendance benefit known as Housebound Benefits, and the rules for eligibility here include qualifying for a Veterans Pension, and spending most of your time housebound due to a permanent disability. The VA does not allow payments to any veteran for both Aid and Attendance and Housebound Benefits.