Did you know there is a veterans benefit that can help pay for senior living?
Vantage Point is privileged to serve many men and women veterans from all branches of military service within our senior living communities. Words fail us when we hear their stories of honor, sacrifice, and courage in the name of our country. In our capacity to give back to the service men and women who have given so much to us, we are thrilled to announce the launch of our Veteran Assistance Program – a no-charge service designed to help Veterans and their families apply for the Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit – a benefit that helps pay for Senior Living. Read on to learn more about this benefit and how you may qualify.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) What is the Aid & Attendance Pension Benefit?
This widely misunderstood benefit from the Veteran’s Administration is a need-based benefit based on medical and financial criteria, is paid directly to veterans or their surviving spouses, and can be used to help pay for Senior Living.
2) How much does the benefit pay?
The amount you’ll receive depends on your unique individual situation. However, the following paragraph shows the maximum monthly benefit amounts for 2019:
- Surviving Spouse of a Veteran: $1,209
- Veteran with no Spouse or dependent children: $1,881
- Married couple where the Veteran requires care: $2,230
- Veteran is healthy, but Spouse requires care: $1,476
- Veteran married to a veteran (support needed for both): $2,984
3) How is the Benefit Paid?
You or your surviving spouse will receive the tax-free benefit payment every month to help pay for your healthcare needs – either by direct deposit or a check. It’s that simple!
4) What determines eligibility for the Aid & Attendance Pension?
Eligibility for the benefit is threefold, based on service, medical, and financial criteria.
A. Service Criteria
You must be either a veteran or current / surviving spouse of a veteran, served at least 90 days of active duty, with one of those days during a period of war. You do not need to have seen combat or have been deployed – you could have been on active duty anywhere in the world, if just one of those days was during one of the following wartime periods:
- Mexican Border Period (May 9, 1916 – April 5, 1917 for Veterans who served in Mexico, on its borders, or adjacent waters)
- World War I (April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918)
- World War II (December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946)
- Korean conflict (June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955)
- Vietnam era (February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975)
- Gulf War (August 2, 1990 – through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation)
*It’s important to note that the Veteran must have been discharged with anything other than “dishonorable”.
**It is incredibly difficult, although not unheard of, for surviving spouses to be awarded this benefit if they were divorced from the veteran.
B. Medical Criteria
Aid & Attendance is a medical-based benefit – it is designed to help pay for the healthcare needs of veterans or their current / surviving spouses. If you need help with what the VA calls “Activities of Daily Living” (dressing, bathing, transferring, medication management, etc), *or* if you are living in or moving to a senior living community due to safety reasons, then you most likely meet this criteria.
C. Financial Criteria
Of all the criteria, financial eligibility is quite possibly the most misinterpreted, and complicated, of the three. Some people say you can’t have a substantial income and qualify. Others say you have to spend-down all of your money until you’re eligible for Medicaid to qualify. To simplify: if your medical expenses exceed your income, you will likely qualify for the maximum monthly benefit amount.
In addition, there are new rules around assets the VA enacted in October 2018:
- Asset limit of $126,420 (your home, car, and personal effects are not considered assets)
- 36-month look-back period for asset transfers after 10/18/18
For those who are truly “asset-excessive”, there are financial planners you can turn to who can restructure your finances for eligibility. Vantage Point does not do any kind of financial planning, and any financial planner or third-party service we may recommend does not in any way compensate Vantage Point for the referral. The bottom line is: there are tools and services available so that everyone has the option, no matter what your situation, of legally meeting the financial criteria.
How Do I Apply?
Whether you’re moving to a Vantage Point community or not, we believe every Veteran deserves the benefits they're entitled to for their service to our country.
Vantage Point does not charge for assistance for help with applications under any circumstance, does not do any sort of financial planning, and does not make any monetary compensation whatsoever for help with the application. We help because we genuinely feel it’s the right thing to do. If you need assistance with your application, you can get in touch with us in one of three ways:
- Call: 610-321-1977 to speak with a member of the Vantage Point team who can help verify eligibility and get you the right application forms.
- Email: Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org – let us know what you’re looking for and how to get in touch with you and we’ll get you started.
- Meet: Or for a more personal touch, you can request a phone or in-person meeting by clicking here.
If you prefer to submit the application on your own, it's certainly possible! Click here to review our digital guide on the VA Benefit. Directions and links to the necessary forms are provided on this document.
You can also request a printed version be mailed to your home by filling out this form.