If you or your loved one is considering senior living as the best answer to receive the assistance and care needed, you may be researching different financial options that could contribute to paying for the expenses.
While families often assume that assisted living or home care services are paid for only with private funds, such as savings, investments or retirement pensions, other sources may be overlooked.
VA benefits for senior living
When determining the expenses for senior living, many factors can impact the total cost, including the type and level of services needed and even the location where care is delivered.
But if the individual in need of care is a Veteran or the surviving spouse of a Veteran, one financial resource that you may want to consider is the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefit for senior living, Aid and Attendance.
VA Aid and Attendance benefit program
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the VA Aid and Attendance benefit could provide a monthly payment in addition to any VA pension for qualified Veterans and their survivors.
The 2021 maximum monthly benefits for those qualifying for the Aid & Attendance level of Pension is:
- Surviving Spouse of a Veteran: $1,244
- Veteran with no Spouse or dependent children: $1,936
- Married couple where the Veteran requires care: $2,295
- Veteran is healthy but Spouse requires care, Veteran qualifies for Income Improvement Pension: $1,520
Source: Veterans Financial, Inc.
Review the following requirements to determine if your loved one may be eligible. At least one of these statements must be true:
1. Help is required to perform the activities of daily living, including
- Adjusting prosthetic devices
- Protection from environmental hazards
2. The person is bedridden and mostly required to stay in bed when not receiving treatment
3. The person is a resident in a nursing home due to a mental or physical incapacity
4. Corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less is present in both eyes
5. Concentric contraction of the visual field is 5 degrees or less
Meeting the financial requirements
To receive the VA Aid and Attendance benefit, certain financial restrictions must also be met.
1. The current upper limit set for net worth cannot be exceeded. When calculating the amount, the person’s automobile, personal effects and primary residence is not included. There is also a three-year lookback period that will be reviewed for any assets that were gifted or sold below market value in order to reduce the net worth.
2. The individual will need to establish eligibility for the basic VA pension but it should be noted that the VA Aid and Attendance benefit is based on a higher income limit so if eligibility for the basic pension was denied the person may still qualify for the increased benefits.
Meeting the non-financial requirements
For the Veteran, the following requirements must be met to qualify for the basic pension:
1. Can not have been dishonorably discharged
2. Must have served on active duty before September 8, 1980, for at least 90 days, with at least one day during wartime, or served on active duty after September 7, 1980, for 24 months, with at least one day during wartime. Service must have occurred during specified wartime dates but not necessarily in combat.
3. One of the following criteria must be met:
- Age 65 or older
- Have a permanent disability
- Live in a nursing home due to a disability
- Receive Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income
For more information on Veterans or survivors pensions and benefits, you may want to visit the following websites:
Discover life at a Northbridge community
If you’re considering senior living for yourself or a family member, we hope you’ll visit one of our communities. You’ll find a maintenance-free, activity-filled and engaging lifestyle to help support your wellness goals.
You’ll also discover many benefits in a Northbridge Senior Living community, including our Signature Program S.T.A.R. Club (Sharp Thinking, Active Residents) – which offers our residents several activities to participate in with others, including:
- Daily exercise group
- Walking club
- Tai Chi & yoga
- Nutritional classes
- Library and book club
- Museum outings
- Artists in residence program
- Multi-generational music
- Genealogy Generations