Can Veterans Benefits Be Used In Senior Living?
It’s complicated. Here is what you need to know.
If you are looking after a senior loved one who is veteran, you may be wondering about veterans benefits for senior living, and whether your loved one will qualify.
The answer is complex. While there are no veterans benefits that pay for senior living directly, there are two veterans benefits that can be applied to the cost of senior living for those who qualify.
As the caregiver of a veteran, it is important to understand the benefits that may be available through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the process to apply for these benefits, which can be lengthy.
Here is an overview of two benefits that may be helpful to senior veterans navigating a move to senior living, along with helpful links to VA resources.
Long Term Care Provision for Pension Benefits
The first benefit that may be useful for senior veterans planning a move to senior living is a special long term care provision for pension benefits. Even if your loved one currently does not qualify for a pension from the VA, they may qualify after moving to an senior living community.
Senior living fees and other medical care costs can be deducted from the income calculated to receive pension benefits. That means that a veteran whose income was too high to qualify for a pension prior to moving to senior living may qualify once the cost of senior living is deducted from their income.
There are many factors that influence whether a veteran and spouse qualify for a pension, such as length of service during wartime, income, and available assets. We’ve included links to more information from the VA in the “useful links” section below.
Aid and Attendance
The second benefit is “Aid and Attendance.” Aid and Attendance is a benefit for wartime veterans (and the spouses of veterans who have passed) who have specific care needs that are often met in a senior living community.
Those needs may include assistance with activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, and eating.
Aid and Attendance is available only to veterans who already receive a pension. The amount paid to each veteran is based on a formula that includes income minus deductible expenses (like senior living fees and other medical expenses), among other factors.
How to Get Started
Applying for veterans benefits from the VA can take some time, so be sure to plan ahead and be patient. The process requires time, research, and documentation of your loved one’s medical needs, income, and service history. Keep in mind that if your loved one does qualify for benefits, those benefits may not begin until after moving to an senior living community.
If your loved one does not currently receive a pension benefit, but may qualify after moving to senior living, begin by learning more about the details of eligibility from the VA.
If your loved one does currently receive a pension benefit, the first step toward applying for Aid and Attendance is to get a medical evaluation from a physician. Have your loved one’s physician fill out the correct form before applying for Aid and Attendance (see below).
- Information about eligibility for pension benefits.
- Learn more about income and net worth calculations for pension benefits.
- How to apply for a veterans pension from the VA.
- The medical evaluation form for Aid and Attendance benefits is VA Form 21-2680. You can find this form here.
- Apply for Aid and Attendance by contacting the Pension Management Center for your state, or in person at a regional benefits office.
Getting the Help You Need
Learn more about Sunnyside Manor’s resources for caregivers of veterans. Whether you’re looking for help navigating the process of applying for benefits, short-term support or a longer-term plan, we are here to help. Begin with our “Getting Started” guide, or call us at 888-696-2052 to speak with a senior living expert.
The all new Sunnyside Manor, located in Wall NJ, is the area’s premier senior living community. It features three distinctive neighborhoods: Independence ‘Plus’ Assisted Living, Recollections Memory Care and Skilled Nursing.