The first hurdle to qualifying for Aid and Attendance Benefits, a Department of Veterans Affairs program that provides supplemental income to help pay for at home care, is qualifying for the VA Pension for veterans.
Aid and Attendance is only a supplement to the VA Pension, which is paid monthly if the applicant is severely disabled due to wartime service.
If you served during a war, your income is below a certain level and are older than 65 or permanently and totally disabled, you generally qualify for the VA Pension, and possibly Aid and Attendance.
Generally, any veteran who served at least one day in any conflict from WWII to the (1990) Gulf War is eligible for the VA Pension. Unfortunately, Congress has not explicitly made Iraq and Afghanistan veterans eligible for VA Pensions and Aid and Attendance benefits, although exceptions can be made.
Veterans can receive up to $23,396 if they qualify for Aid and Attendance. If you’re housebound without dependents, you will only be eligible for as much as $14,457 through the VA Pension. But you can receive over $5,000 more if you qualify for Aid and Attendance in addition to the VA Pension.
Finally, you need to be at least 65 years old to qualify for the VA Pension or be totally disabled. If you are totally disabled, you may qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit, or other supplemental VA benefit programs.
In addition to Aid and Attendance, The Department of Veterans Affairs can also pay Housebound benefits. To qualify for those, the requirements are similar to Aid and Attendance benefits. The more specific Housebound benefits guidelines require a veteran’s disability to be evaluated as 100 percent disabling, so that he or she is confined to his or her immediate premises, in order to qualify. Veterans can also qualify if they have a disability in addition to the one judged to be totally debilitating that is at least 60 percent disabling.
Guidelines for the Aid and Attendance benefit are less strict. Veterans can qualify for those benefits in addition to their VA Pension if they are mostly blind or need help with everyday activities. But Both programs first require eligibility for a VA pension.