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VA Benefits Planning

There are many benefits available to Veterans.  The most common benefits received are Compensation and Pension.  Compensation is a benefit for Veterans who have a service-connected disability.  The pension benefit is for any Veteran or a surviving spouse of a veteran who has medical expenses that offset their income below the income rate specified by the VA.

Eligibility Requirements:

Served at least 90 days active duty.

One day was during wartime: WWII, Korea, Vietnam
Must have an Honorable/Medical discharge.
Surviving spouse requirements – must be the unremarried surviving spouse of a Veteran who met the above requirements.

Financial Requirements:

Must have medical expenses that offset income

Based on household income and assets

 Age and Medical Criteria:

Unable to work due to disability and/or are age 65 or older

Deductible medical expenses include: Medicare premiums, in home care, adult day care, and nursing home/assisted living expenses.

Pensions available – Basic, Housebound, and Aid and Attendance 

Aid and Attendance – means inability to dress/undress, requires assistance transferring, inability to bathe oneself, requires medication reminders.
Housebound – Substantially confined …to his/her house/immediate premises for reasons that are likely to continue throughout his/her lifetime.

How Does One Qualify?

Gross Household Income

Out of Pocket Medical Expenses

Income Counted by the VA 

Once you determine the income that is counted by the VA, you subtract that number from the Maximum Available Pension Resource and that is the pension amount the Veteran is entitled to.

Pension Rates – Maximum Available Pension Resource


$1,054.33 – Basic Pension, Veteran without a Spouse

$1,380.75 – Basic Pension, Veteran with a Spouse

$1,288.50 – Housebound Pension, Veteran without a Spouse

$1,615.00 – Housebound Pension, Veteran with a Spouse

$1,758.91 – Aid & Attendance, Veteran without a Spouse

$2,085.16 – Aid & Attendance, Veteran with a Spouse

Surviving Spouse:

$707.08 – Basic Pension, Widow/Widower

$864.25 – Housebound Pension, Widow/Widower

$1,130.25 – Aid & Attendance, Widow/Widower

We recommend that those who are struggling with expensive longterm care bills meet with an experienced elder law attorney to consider potential financial resources available to them, including VA Aid and Attendance pension benefits. As with ALTCS benefits, knowledgeable attorneys in many cases can assist clients to preserve the maximum assets possible and to maintain benefit eligibility. Call us today to schedule a consultation 480-348-1590.

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