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Florida Veterans Benefits Attorney Thomas Upchurch is certified by the Veterans Administration (VA). He can assist with Improved Pension benefits for the VA Aid & Attendance Pension Program (A&A), which are available for wartime veterans or their surviving spouses.
A&A consists of 3-tiers and is the highest level awarded to a veteran or surviving spouse who requires assistance with their daily living such as dressing, bathing, cooking or eating. To receive benefits, an applicant must prove that even though they do not need assistance for every need, they cannot function completely on their own. You are not required to be in a facility to be eligible for this level. You can receive in-home care by either outside agencies or family members.
The remaining two other levels are Housebound and Basic. Housebound is the 2nd level of Improved Pension. The criteria is basically the same but the applicant is not as limited as an A&A applicant, but still requires help with daily living activities. Lastly, Basic Pension is the first level of the Improved Pension and an applicant is eligible upon a veteran reaching the age of 65. The VA considers and classifies veterans 65 and older as permanently and totally disabled regardless of their physical fitness.
As of publication of the Federal Benefits Handbook:
The widowed spouse of a veteran can receive up to $1,113 per month. These benefits are intended for un-reimbursed medical expenses such as in-home care and assisted living facilities.
A Veteran filing with a Sick Spouse is eligible for up to $1,360 per month. Many families overlook the A&A Pension as it pertains to veterans who are still independent, but have an ill spouse. Keep in mind that in this situation, if the spouse’s medical expenses completely depletes their combined monthly income, the Veteran can file as a Veteran with a sick spouse.
More information can be found in the current VA Federal Benefits Handbook. The Handbook may be downloaded as a PDF or through e-books. If using PDF, plug in page 28 of 104 to get to the A&A pension section. The table is located on the right in Chapter 4, page 45. In addition, you may review the VA benefits page for further details on possible pension benefits.
To qualify for the Aid & Attendance program, there are several criteria that must be satisfied before being approved for the monthly pension as part of VA benefits. Applicants must meet certain service requirements as well as certain financial criteria. For instance, if an applicant’s income and assets are too high, they may not qualify. When crafting a plan to qualify for VA benefits Aid & Attendance, it is important to understand how certain strategies can affect an applicant’s eligibility for not only Aid & Attendance, but also Medicaid. Medicaid is the primary source of payment for nursing home residents, as the average monthly cost of a nursing home is in excess of $7,000 per month. Therefore, we must always make sure what we do to qualify for Aid & Attendance today will not detrimentally affect us when applying for Medicaid tomorrow.
As an accredited Florida Veterans Benefits Attorney Thomas Upchurch can help your family and you devise the best plan for you to utilize all the VA benefits Florida programs that you may be eligible for.
Call Upchurch Law at 386-506-8640 or contact us on the form below.