One of the most alarming trends affecting seniors today is the already high and rising cost of long-term care. Many people are under the impression that Medicare will take care of all their medical needs once they reach the age of 65, but this is not the case; Medicare does not pay for long-term care. Last year it cost over $83,000, on average, to spend a year in a private room in a nursing home, and almost $40,000 for a year in an assisted-living facility, so we are talking about some pretty significant end-of-life expenses that must be budgeted for if you want to plan intelligently.
Many military veterans can get some assistance addressing these costs through a little-known benefit called the Veterans Aid and Attendance pension, sometimes referred to as “Veterans A&A.” Most of us are aware of the fact that people who serve in the United States armed forces for a minimum of 20 years are entitled to a retirement pension, but this is something different.
The Veterans A&A pension is available to qualified veterans who need assistance with their day-to-day living needs; things like dressing, eating, and grooming themselves, etc. Qualified veterans with no dependents can receive up to $1644 per month; qualified veterans, with a spouse or other dependent, may be entitled to as much as $1949 each month; and a surviving spouse of a deceased veteran may receive a maximum of $1056 per month.
The length of service eligibility requirements for Veterans A&A are very modest; if you served in the military for a minimum of 90 consecutive days with at least one of those days taking place during a time of war, you meet the qualifications in terms of length of service. Look for an attorney who is accredited by the US Department of Veterans Affairs to assist you in qualifying for this important benefit.