Long Term Care Benefits Available to Surviving Spouses of Wartime Veterans

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There are over 9 million surviving spouses of veterans currently living in the United States.   Many of these surviving spouses are receiving long term care or will need some type of long term care in the near future, and there are funds available from the Veterans Administration (“VA”) to help pay for that care.  Unfortunately, many of those who are eligible have no idea that any benefits exist for them or that an attorney can help them become eligible.

Benefits Available
There are three types of pension benefits available that provide monthly cash payments to surviving spouses who either have low income, long term health care needs, or both.  The pension benefit is referred to as “Death Pension.”  Below is an overview of the three benefits, and more detail will be provided on each benefit in the following paragraphs.

 

Death Pension.  The VA provides a monthly cash payment to surviving spouses of veterans who meet active duty and discharge requirements, who are either 65 or older or disabled, and who have limited income and assets. A surviving spouse can receive up to $661 per month (with additional payments available if dependent children are present in the home).

 

Death Pension with Housebound Allowance.   A slightly higher monthly payment is available to surviving spouses of wartime veterans (who meet the same service requirements as Service Pension) but who are confined to their home for medical reasons.  A surviving spouse can receive up to $808 per month (with additional payments available if dependent children are present in the home).

 

Death Pension with Aid and Attendance.  The highest monthly benefit is available when a surviving spouse requires the assistance of another person to perform activities of daily living, or is blind or nearly so, or is a patient in a nursing home.  This benefit, often referred to simply as “Aid and Attendance” is the most widely-known and talked-about benefit as it offers the highest possible monthly payment.  A surviving spouse can receive up to $1056 per month (with additional payments available for dependent children).

 

 

Practice Tip:  While Aid and Attendance is the most popular VA benefit, it is important to remember that Death Pension (with no additional allowances) is available to surviving spouses who do not require assistance with activities of daily living but are either disabled or 65 or older and have low income.   Read more…

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