Aid and Attendance
Aid and Attendance and Housebound Benefits (Special Monthly Pension)
Veterans and surviving spouses who are eligible for VA pensions are eligible for higher maximum pension rates if they qualify for aid and attendance or housebound benefits. For an expanded explanation and specific examples of the generousity of this benefit read this article Veteran Aid & Attendance and Household Benefits.
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Download, view or print our easy-to-read Veteran Aid & Attendance and Housebound Benefits 2017 handbook.
An eligible individual may qualify if he or she requires the regular aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, or is bedridden, a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity, blind, or permanently and substantially confined to his/her immediate premises because of a disability.
Veterans and surviving spouses who are ineligible for basic pension based on excessive annual income may still be eligible for special monthly pension (SMP) if they require the aid and attendance of another in performing their daily functions, or if they are housebound due to a nonservice-connected condition as a higher income limit applies to SMP entitlement. In addition, unreimbursed medical expenses for nursing home or home-health care may be used to reduce countable annual income.
Claimants may apply for aid and attendance or housebound benefits by completing VA Form 21-2680 (available through www.va.gov/vaforms/).
Claimants may also write to the nearest VA regional office and include copies of any evidence, preferably a report from an attending physician or a nursing home, validating the need for aid and attendance or housebound 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, VA may need to determine whether the claimant is confined to the home or immediate premises.
VA also pays a special $90 monthly rate to pension-eligible Veterans or surviving spouses with no dependents who receive Medicaid-covered nursing home care. These funds are available for the beneficiary’s personal use and may not be used to offset the cost of his or her care.
* Additional information can be found in the Pension Benefits section at www.benefits.va.gov/pension.