If you are a wartime Veteran who meets certain income, net worth, age or disability requirements, or you are a surviving spouse, then you may be eligible for VA’s pension benefits. But did you know that VA’s Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits, or enhanced pension, can boost your pension payments? If you need help with daily activities, or if you are housebound, you may qualify for an increased monthly pension.
What are Aid and Attendance (A&A) benefits?
In addition to your monthly VA pension payment, A&A benefits help cover the cost of in-home care, assisted living or a nursing home. Benefits are available to qualifying low-income and net worth, wartime and disabled Veterans, as well as their surviving spouses who are in nursing homes or who need help with everyday tasks, like dressing, bathing or eating.
You may be eligible for this benefit if you have a VA pension and:
- You need to stay, or spend, a large part of the day in bed because of illness, or
- You are in a nursing home due to the loss of mental or physical abilities related to a disability, or
- Your eyesight is limited even with glasses or contact lenses.
What are Housebound benefits?
Like A&A, Housebound benefits increase your monthly VA pension amount. It is available to Veterans who are confined to their homes because of a permanent disability. If you have a disability that is rated 100% disabling and spend most of your time at home or have another disability, or disabilities, that are evaluated at 60% or more, you may qualify for Housebound benefits.
How do I know if I am eligible for VA pension benefits?
You will still need to meet the same age, wartime and disability requirements needed to receive VA pension benefits. However, your medical expenses are considered when determining eligibility for A&A and Housebound benefits. This may reduce your monthly income, allowing you to qualify for enhanced pension benefits. It is important to note, however, that you cannot receive both A&A and Housebound benefits at the same time.
How do I apply?
A&A and Housebound benefits are not automatic. If you believe you or someone you know may qualify, apply for these benefits with VA by completing the application form and sending it to the nearest VA Pension Management Center or applying in person at a VA regional office near you. If you are not already in receipt of pension benefits, you will also need to complete an Application for Veterans Pension or an Application for DIC, Survivors Pension and/or Accrued Benefits. Be sure to provide evidence that can prove your need for A&A or that you are housebound. For example, you could submit a report from your doctor that confirms your disability when you file your application.
If you’re in a nursing home, you will also need to complete a Request for Nursing Home Information in connection with your claim for A&A.
For more information by visiting va.gov/pension/aid-attendance-housebound/, or call 1-800-827-1000.