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What are Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits?

Aid and Attendance (A&A) is a benefit paid in addition to monthly pension. This benefit may not be paid without eligibility to pension. A veteran may be eligible for A&A when:

The veteran 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/herself from the hazards of his/her daily environment, OR,

The veteran 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,
The veteran is a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity, OR,

The veteran 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.

Housebound is paid in addition to monthly pension. Like A&A, Housebound benefits may not be paid without eligibility to pension. A veteran may be eligible for Housebound benefits when:

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,

The veteran has a single permanent disability evaluated as 100-percent disabling AND, another disability, or disabilities, evaluated as 60 percent or more disabling.
A veteran cannot receive both Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits at the same time.

How to Apply for Aid and Attendance and Housebound:

You may apply for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits by writing to the VA regional office having jurisdiction of the claim. That would be the office where you filed a claim for pension benefits. If the regional office of jurisdiction is not known, you may file the request with any VA regional office.

You 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.

If I am already receiving monthly payments or a service-connected disability can I get a VA pension too?
You cannot receive a VA non-service connected pension and service-connected compensation at the same time. However, if you apply for pension and are awarded payments, VA will pay you whichever benefit is the greater amount.

How do I apply for veterans non-service connected pension?

You can apply on line at the following VA web site: http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp .

You may download and fill out VA Form 21-526, Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension. Make sure you download all parts of the application as well as the instructions for filling out the forms. If available, attach copies of dependency records (marriage & children's birth certificates).

You must send the completed application and any copies of other documents to the VA regional office that serves your area of residence. Please click here to find the office of jurisdiction.

You may also contact a Veterans Service Officer (VSO) from a veterans service organization. Please call the toll free number, 1-800-827-1000, for the location of the nearest VSO nearest you. You may also look to the VA web site for a list of the nationally recognized Veterans Service Organizations.

If you have any questions, please call our toll free number, 1-800-827-1000, or you may contact VA electronically via the Internet at https://iris.va.gov.
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The reason I was prompted to go the VA site and retrieve the information in this posts was because of any email I received from David Burts.

He is currently teaching a class online for free at Learning Lattitudes which is a legitimate site on how to go about making claims etc.

This was his email:

VETERAN'S ADMINISTRATION BENEFITS
FOR
SENIOR VETERANS, SPOUSES AND WIDOWS

There is a program from the Veteran's Administration called Aid and Attendance which provides substantial financial benefits (from about $1000 to $3000 per month) for Qualified Senior Veterans, their spouses or widows in need of assistance. There is a new FREE course available which describes the Qualification Requirements for this program and can be accessed by going to www.latitudeu.com.

In about a month or so (January '08) the second part of this program (about FILING for these benefits, with detailed, easy to understand step by step instructions) will be made available (for $25) to help navigate the complex processes for filing for these benefits.

If your patients and their families may qualify for these benefits (Veteran during war periods, financially qualified and meeting clinical requirements) please let them know about this program. This course should be the first course listed (of many other courses) on the catalog at www.latitudeu.com.

Thanks and happy holidays,

David Burta
LatitudeU
dburta@aol.com
My mother had full A and A as widow of a war vet when she was at assisted living. All the paper work can be intimidating. We had to have copies of his discharge papers and their wedding certificate. The original family copies were destroyed by fire in 1962, but with help, we managed to get replacement documents.

Be prepared to send in proof of medical expenses yearly - this means statements of payment from medical providers, bank records won't do. Also, once the pension is in place, keep the direct phone number to the office in Wisconsin, to avoid being on hold terminally at the state/regional level.

Finally, be aware that the A&A / pension gets reduced to $90 for non-medical expense if the loved one goes into fulltime skilled nursing facility for an extended period. Mom's goes to her beauty parlor bill, clothing and outings.

Good luck,
Barb

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