VA Aid and Attendance (A&A) and Housebound Pension Benefits

Regular Army: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet

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Summary:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Aid and Attendance (A&A) and Housebound pension benefits may be available to wartime Veterans and surviving Spouses who have in-home care or who live in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities.

Eligibility:

A Veteran or surviving Spouse may be eligible for A&A when he or she:

  1. Requires the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting himself or herself from the hazards of his or her daily environment, OR ,
  2. Is bedridden, in that his/her disability or disabilities requires that he/she remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment, OR ,
  3. Is a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity, OR ,
  4. Is blind, or so nearly blind as to have corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less, in both eyes, or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.

For a wartime Veteran or surviving Spouse to qualify for an A&A monthly pension, the Veteran must have served at least 90 days of active military service, one day of which was during a period of war, and be discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Wartime Veterans who entered active duty on or after September 7, 1980, must have completed at least 24 continuous months of military service or the period for which they were ordered to active duty.

If all requirements are met, VA determines eligibility for the Aid and Attendance benefit by adjusting for un-reimbursed medical expenses from the Veteran's or surviving spouse's total household income. If the remaining income amount falls below the annual income threshold for the Aid and Attendance benefit, VA pays the difference between the claimant's household income and the Aid and Attendance threshold.

The Aid and Attendance income threshold for a Veteran without dependents is currently $20,447 annually. The threshold increases to $24,239 if a Veteran has one dependent, and by $2,093 for each additional dependent. The annual Aid and Attendance threshold for a surviving spouse alone is $13,362. This threshold increases to $15,940 if there is one dependent child and by $2,093 for each additional child.

A Veteran may be eligible for Housebound benefits when:

  1. The Veteran has a single permanent disability evaluated as 100-percent disabling AND , due to such disability, he/she is permanently and substantially confined to his/her immediate premises, OR ,
  2. The Veteran has a single permanent disability evaluated as 100-percentdisabling AND, another disability, or disabilities, evaluated as 60 percent or more disabling.

Benefit Highlights:

A&A is a VA benefit paid in addition to monthly pension to assist wartime Veterans and surviving spouses who have in-home care or who live in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities. The VA A&A and Housebound benefits are paid in addition to the VA monthly pension. A Veteran cannot receive both Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits at the same time.

Housebound is an enhanced or special monthly pension benefit paid in addition to basic pension. You may not receive enhanced or special monthly pension without first establishing eligibility for basic VA pension. However, because enhanced pension is based upon a higher income limit, a claimant ineligible for basic pension due to excessive income may be eligible for enhanced pension benefits.

Applying for A&A or Housebound benefits. Veterans may apply for A&A or Housebound benefits by writing to the VA regional office having jurisdiction of the claim (the office where the Veteran filed a claim for pension benefits). If the regional office of jurisdiction is not known, Veterans may file the request with any VA regional office. Applications may be submitted online at https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal.

The application should include copies of any evidence, preferably a report from an attending physician validating the need for Aid and Attendance or Housebound type care. The report should be in sufficient detail to determine whether there is disease or injury producing physical or mental impairment, loss of coordination, or conditions affecting the ability to dress and undress, to feed oneself, to attend to sanitary needs, and to keep oneself ordinarily clean and presentable.

In addition, it is necessary to determine whether the claimant is confined to the home or immediate premises. Whether the claim is for Aid and Attendance or Housebound, the report should indicate how well the individual gets around, where the individual goes, and what he or she is able to do during a typical day.

Additional Information:

For more information regarding the VA Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits, please refer to the following website maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):

http://benefits.va.gov/pension/aid_attendance_housebound.asp

Document Review Date: 14 November 2013