It’s important to take advantage of every benefit available to us at any age. This is especially true for veterans. Your service to our country has entitled you to a range of benefits that can be especially helpful as you get older. These benefits also often extend to veterans’ spouses!
In certain circumstances, your VA benefits can help pay for some of the costs associated with senior living. There are two elements of your VA benefits in particular that can help alleviate some significant costs:
1. VA Health Care Benefits
Depending on your specific circumstances and needs, your VA health care benefits may cover some of the costs associated with moving into senior living. VA long-term care benefits for those veterans with more complicated medical needs can often be extended to senior living communities in your neighborhood.
There is no national classification for the types of facilities (and care) that are covered by this health care benefit, so it’s important to understand what options are covered in your area before trying to file a claim.
How to learn more or file a claim for this veterans benefit
The VA designates specific groups and individuals as “accredited representatives.” These individuals are uniquely qualified to help you navigate the extensive list of, and details about, veterans benefits that are available to you. These include VSO (veterans service organization) representatives, attorneys, and agents.
An accredited representative can help you understand what benefit is available to you, and to submit a claim for this benefit to help cover the costs of your senior living community. You can also file a claim online at VA.gov, by visiting your local VA office, or by filling out and mailing form 21–526EZ to this address:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444
2. VA Aid & Attendance Benefit
The VA Aid & Attendance Benefit (also referred to as the “A&A Pension”) provides an additional stipend in addition to the veterans pension you already receive each month. Veterans and their spouses who are age 65 or older and fall under specific medical requirements may qualify for this benefit.
Specifically, the VA Aid & Attendance Benefit is extended to veterans and their spouses who have trouble completing daily activities around the house, or are housebound due to a permanent disability or medical condition.
The Department of Veterans Affairs lists these even more detailed requirements to help you determine whether you’re eligible to receive the VA Aid & Attendance Benefit:
- You need assistance from another person with daily activities like feeding, dressing, and bathing, or
- You are in bed most of the day due to illness or permanent disability, or
- You are a patient in a nursing home due to the loss of mental or physical faculties because of a disability, or
- Your eyesight is limited, even with glasses or contact lenses to 5/200 or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.
How to learn more or take advantage of this veterans benefit
To apply for the VA Aid & Attendance Benefit, you can complete and send VA Form 21-2680 and send it to their nearest pension management center (PMC). Alternatively, you can apply in person at your nearest VA regional office, or you can enlist the assistance of an accredited representative (as mentioned above) for additional assistance.
In some instances, potential senior living communities may have experience helping other veteran residents complete forms, or they may have some knowledge about these benefits. We encourage you to talk to everyone in your network for any additional tips or advice as well!
Winnwood Retirement Community salutes our veteran residents and their families
It is our great honor to welcome our veteran residents, and to provide them with the comfort and standard of living they deserve in their retirement years. To learn more about life at Winnwood Retirement Community or to schedule a tour, contact a member of our team today.