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The Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit

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To make a claim for the VA’s Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit Program, a claimant must show a need for the recipient to receive the regular aid and attendance of a caregiver or the need to dwell in a protected environment because of mental or physical disabilities.

In addition, a veteran with a low household income may qualify for a base pension of a lesser amount - even if he or she does not require special aid and attendance.

The maximum yearly pension benefit for veterans qualifying for “Aid and Attendance” is

Veteran with a spouse:                            $2,120 per month

Veteran with no spouse:                         $1,788 per month

Surviving spouse:                                   $1,149 per month

The difference between The Compensation Benefit And The Pension Income Benefit Programs.

The Aid and Attendance benefit is part of the VA’s pension program and can be easily confused with the VA’s compensation program.

A simple way to understand the difference between the two is to remember that:

a “Compensation Benefit”, is an amount of monthly income awarded to a veteran for an injury or illness incurred during active military service, or a service- connected disability. The VA will determine the amount of compensation based on the veteran’s percentage of disability.

On the other hand, a “Pension Benefit”, is a monthly income for disabled or older veterans who have a low income, and served during a period of war and may have disabilities that are not connected to their active – duty military service. The pension benefit is based is on the Veterans total financial situation to include income, assets and un-reimbursed medical expenses.

The veteran may construct a financial or estate plan before making application to effectively reduce his or her net worth under the VA’s asset test.

A claimant may apply for both the compensation and pension benefit but can only receive one of them. There are also death benefits available for surviving spouses or dependent children in both programs.

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