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Veterans benefits for seniors

After serving our country in the military, our senior veterans should get all the benefits they are eligible for. Unfortunately, many do not. This is often because they don’t know what those benefits are or don’t think they are eligible.

Veterans who served in active duty during wartime are entitled to apply for veterans benefits that other veterans don’t qualify for.  Most veterans know about benefits such as:  financial assistance to aid in furthering their education, getting VA loans to buy a home and getting medical care through the VA Hospitals and clinics to help save on costs.  However, there are also veterans benefits for seniors that can provide financial assistance to those who qualify.

If you, your spouse or parent are a veteran, you owe it to yourself to look into the VA pension. It is possible to be eligible and not even realize it. This pension is intended for veterans with little or no income. The allowable income a veteran can have may seem too low to qualify but this income is based on what is called countable income. You can deduct any medical expenses from your gross income, including Medicare premiums and Medicare Supplemental Insurance Premiums which can reduce your countable income. After deducting all eligible expenses from your gross income, it is possible to have a negative countable income. Veterans who served in active duty for a minimum of 90 days and at least one of those days was during an active war and meet one of the following requirements may qualify:

  • Are at least 65 with a qualifying countable income
  • Receive Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security income
  • Are completely and permanently disabled
  • Are a resident in a nursing home

In addition to the VA Pension, our senior veterans may also be eligible for VA Aid and Attendance. This benefit is for veterans who need help from another person to do ordinary everyday living tasks like preparing meals, eating, taking medication, bathing and dressing. Being bedridden at home, living in a nursing home because of a physical or mental incapacity such as dementia or Alzheimer’s or having severe vision impairment in both eyes (that is at an acuity of 5/200 with corrective lens) are also ways a veteran can be qualified. A veteran who is unable to leave their home without the aid of another person can get homebound benefits as well.

Veterans benefits also includes help with the cost of nursing home care, assisted living or memory care.  Only independent living facilities would not be covered, however, if care is not available in the independent living facility and is provided by a third party, it may be eligible for coverage.

At the Small Assisted Living Coalition, we understand the benefits that our senior veterans are entitled to.  We want to ensure that those that quality are getting all the benefits they deserve.  We can assist by directing you to either an Elder Law Attorney or help you get in touch with your VA regional office, the VFW, the American Legion or the DAV (Disabled American Veteran) to get you started with the documents needed for processing.  Call us at 813-857-2551 or click here to contact us.

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