VA AID & ATTENDANCE BENEFITS: DOCUMENTS AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO GATHER NOW!
Plan early. This is the single, most important advice I can offer to a wartime veteran and his/her spouse, or a widow or widower of a wartime veteran who wish to obtain VA benefits to pay for assisted living care or a home caregiver. If you would like to obtain Aid and Attendance benefit and you already know that you will need either a home caregiver or placement in an assisted living community, you need to plan early.
DOCUMENTS THAT YOU NEED TO PROVE YOUR WARTIME VETERAN STATUS:
The original copy or a certified copy of the discharge paper, or the DD 214 Form. On the DD 214 Form, it states your date of entry into active duty and when you are discharged from active duty. The DD 214 must state that you serve at least 90 consecutive days in active day and at least one day during a period of war.
The DD 214 Form also states whether you were honorable, generally or medically discharged. A person who is dishonorably discharged will not be eligible for A & A pension benefit.
Identifications. You will need to provide a copy of your identification, like driver’s license or senior citizen’s card issued by the DMV, social security card and Medicare card to prove your identity.
Documents that you need to prove your marital status: The VA is entitled to know all about your marital history.
You will need to provide, for each marriage that you have, the marriage certificate, death certificate or the divorce judgment.
WIDOW (OR WIDOWER) OF A WARTIME VETERAN:
In order to prove that you are a widow (or widower) or a wartime veteran, you must prove the following and provide the documents listed below:
The DD 214 Form of your deceased spouse showing that he or she was a wartime veteran (see the criteria for wartime veteran indicated above);
You and your spouse’s marriage certificate;
Your spouse’s death certificate, on which it is indicated that you are the surviving spouse.
Identifications: You will need to provide a copy of your driver’s license or senior citizen’s card, social security card and Medicare card to prove your identity.
While there are exceptions to the rule, generally speaking, if the surviving spouse of a wartime veteran remarried, the surviving spouse would not meet the requirement as a widow or widower of a wartime veteran.
PERMANENT DISABILITY OF THE CLAIMANT AND HIS OR HER NEED FOR CARE:
Simply put, in order for you to qualify for A & A pension benefit, you must be permanently disabled and require regular aid and attendance of another person. This can be care that you receive in your home by a paid caregiver, and the paid caregiver can be from a home care agency or a family member (but cannot be a spouse).
This can also be care that you receive in an independent living community, assisted living community or memory care community.
Medical evidence must be submitted in order to prove the need for care. The law also requires that the medical evidence be internally consistent. This usually means that your physician’s reports or records and the caregiver’s statement must be consistent in order for claim to be approved by the VA.
It is important to assess whether you can qualify for the A & A benefit before you apply for the benefit. It is preferable to plan your long term care ahead of time.
When planning ahead, you can incorporate VA A & A benefit in your overall plan to see how it can benefit you in the long run, what steps you need to take at this time to preserve assets so that they will last longer.
Finally, you and your loved one made sacrifices for our country. We thank you for your sacrifices. You have indeed earned this benefit. Let’s put it to work for you when you need it the most.
Our attorneys are VA Accredited by the Department of Veteran Affairs to represent war-time veterans and their surviving spouses. Let us help you figure out what you need to do to plan ahead! Our consultations are free and we are able to provide the right guidance for veterans throughout California apply and qualify for this benefit.