Applying for V.A. Aid and Attendance Benefits

There is a program from the Veteran’s Administration called Aid and Attendance (A&A) which provides substantial financial benefits for Qualified Senior Veterans, their spouses or widows in need of assistance. Veterans and their spouses or widows/widowers may be eligible for senior care benefits from the V.A. to support activities of daily living at home or in assisted living facilities.

A&A is part of the V.A.’s Improved Pension Program to help veterans and their spouses with activities of daily living, including:

• health management and maintenance

• washing and bathing (daily grooming and personal maintenance)

• dressing and undressing

• food preparation and eating assistance

• transfer from bed or chair, and back

• maintain continence and/or use of the toilet

As many as 4 to 5 million American veterans, spouses, and widows/widowers are entitled to these benefits that have not been claimed. Monthly benefits range from $850 for the widow/widower of a veteran, to $1,950 for a living veteran and spouse, to more than $3,000 if both husband and wife are living veterans. The V.A. has made it complicated to file for these benefits – we have created two courses (see below) to help potential applicants understand the qualifications for applying and to navigate the application process if they choose to apply.

A&A also covers people with physical motor disabilities, blindness, and mental problems. Claimants can be at home or in an assisted living facility and MUST already be receiving these services before filing. A&A is a pension benefit, not an injury benefit – most veterans and spouses who qualify physically and meet the financial requirements are approved for this benefit. The veteran did not need to be injured while on duty.


• A veteran or veteran’s spouse must have specific physical problems that require daily assistance and/or care, and a doctor must confirm in writing these physical problems and the requirement for care.

• The veteran must have served at least 90 days on active duty – not necessarily in a combat zone and one of those 90 days must have been during the wartime periods defined by the V.A.

• The applicant may be a surviving spouse or widow/widower of a qualifying veteran (exception: a divorced spouse is not eligible)

• Veteran and spouse must qualify medically and financially for A&A.


• The applicant must have a yearly “countable income” of less than $18,234 as an individual or $21,615 for the applicant and a dependent.

• Applicants on a V.A. 100% pension do not qualify for additional A&A benefits.

• An applicant must have less than $80,000 in liquid assets – liquid assets do NOT include the applicant’s home.

– Liquid assets include money in the bank, stock, bonds, certificates of deposit, vacation property, and investments.

– Interest and dividends are also included as income.

– The living, undivorced spouse’s assets must be INCLUDED in the total liquid assets.

– The applicant’s primary home, personal property like clothes and appliances, and vehicles are EXCLUDED from liquid asset calculation.

– Asset value of insurance policies are EXCLUDED from liquid asset calculation.

– The V.A. has the right to “look back” historically for asset and income validation.

– The applicant’s net worth/liquid assets must be insufficient to support the applicant for life.

Many claimants receive filing assistance from either family members or friends to help with this submission process. The VA does NOT permit companies or individuals to charge for these filing services – DO NOT PAY A THIRD PARTY TO HELP PREPARE ANY AID AND ATTENDANCE FILINGS OR CLAIMS FOR YOU. IT IS AGAINST THE LAW.

We offer a FREE course which describes the Qualification Requirements for this program and a PAID course ($25) that takes the applicant through the application process step-by-step. The courses exist solely for the purpose of helping veterans and their families to understand V.A. Aid & Attendance. They make no claims or guarantees that the V.A. will accept a claim that results from following the course’s materials, nor do they guarantee any specific monetary or other assistance from the V.A. as a result of any claim.

The paid course provides a step-by-step, end-to-end instruction set on the entire filing process. It is designed to walk through all of the filing documentation and follow-up requirements needed to obtain these benefits from the VA if qualified. The preview course provides basic information on qualification for these benefits. Both can be accessed by going to

2008, Senior Veterans Benefits Associates


  • Paul Renard, Senior Veterans Benefits Associates

    Paul Renard, Ph.D. is a faculty member in the Department of Human Development at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).