VA benefits are getting better.

One of the best kept secrets in long term care planning is the Veterans Pension with Aid and Attendance program. Aid and Attendance is a benefit available to veterans, their spouses, widows or widowers. Of all the VA benefits, this offers the highest level available and is designed to help offset the cost of nursing homes, assisted living communities, and personal care homes. A claimant is in need of aid and attendance if they need regular aid and attendance from another person.

A claimant is presumed to be in need of aid and attendance if they are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical disability. As of December 1, 2012, all recipients of these VA benefits received a small raise.

On December 1, 2012, VA benefits were increased 1.7%. The following is a maximum monthly benefit amount allowed for the Aid and Attendance pension level. Benefits are paid directly to the claimant and are retroactive to the date of application. Payments are tax free. Here are the new rates:

The VA is a large and slow organization with many complicated rules. If their forms are not completed correctly when your application is turned, along with the right supporting documentation, it may delay your benefits for over a year. If you or a loved one is interested in how VA benefits can help you, give us a call to learn more about these benefits and how they can help you.

Written by Brian G. Quinn, Attorney with Quinn Estate & Elder Law