Veterans Pension and Aid and Attendance 101
The Veterans Administration pension is not a pension in the traditional sense. Rather, the veteran’s pension is a monthly amount designed to help the veteran or their spouse who needs assistance at home. This amount can be used to pay unreimbursed medical expenses such as a home health aide.
To apply for the veteran’s pension, or the enhanced pension (if the applicant is homebound or in need of aid and attendance for daily needs), the applicant or their spouse must be income and resource eligible to receive this benefit. The spouse’s pension is often called a survivor’s pension. Both the veteran’s pension and the survivor’s pension are tax-free. The survivor’s pension is not available to the surviving spouse if they remarry.
If the Veteran/spouse is housebound or requires the aid and attendance of another person, they could receive additional funds, also known as an enhanced pension. Effective December 1, 2018, if you are a veteran with no dependents, your yearly income must be less than $13,535.00. If you are a housebound veteran with no dependents, your yearly income must be less than $16,530.00 and if you are a veteran with no dependents and require aid and attendance your yearly income must be less than $22,577.00.
The net worth limits to qualify for pension has increased to a “bright-line net worth” of $127, 061.00 as of December 1, 2018. This is good news, as it replaces the former variable net worth limitation, which could be altered by certain factors, such as life expectancy and the rate of depletion of assets. It is hopeful the new bright line net worth limit will expedite pension applications.
Veterans Aid and Attendance and Housebound Enhanced Pensions 102
As discussed in Veterans Pension and Aid and Attendance 101, a veteran may qualify for the aid and attendance increased monthly pension if they meet ONE of the following:
- The applicant requires the aid of another person to perform personal care such as bathing, dressing, feeding, bathroom assistance, aid with a prosthetic device or to protect yourself from hazards in your home environment.
- The applicant is bedridden due to their disability or disabilities.
- The applicant is a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical disability (there may be a reduction).
- The applicant’s eyesight is 5/200 or less in both eyes.
A housebound veteran is defined as an applicant who is substantially confined to your immediate premises because of a permanent disability.