For many aging or disabled veterans who need help with activities of daily living, finding the funds to pay for the care they need is a common concern.
Many veterans aren’t aware of the Aid & Attendance pension they have earned for themselves and their surviving spouses through their service to their country.
VA Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits provide monthly payments added to the amount of a monthly VA pension for qualified veterans and their survivors.
Am I Eligible for Aid and Attendance Benefits?
You may be eligible for this benefit if you get a VA pension and you meet at least one of the requirements listed below.
• You need another person to help you perform daily activities, like bathing, feeding, and dressing
• You have to stay in bed — or spend a large portion of the day in bed — because of illness
• You are a patient in a nursing home due to the loss of mental or physical abilities related to a disability
• Your eyesight is limited (even with glasses or contact lenses you have only 5/200 or less in both eyes or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less)
Housebound Benefits Eligibility
You may be eligible for this benefit if you get a VA pension and you spend most of your time in your home because of a permanent disability (a disability that doesn’t go away).
Note: You can’t get Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time.
How Do I Get One of These Benefits?
You can apply for VA Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits in one of these ways:
1. Send a completed VA form to your pension management center (PMC) – Fill out VA Form 21-2680 (Examination for Housebound Status or Permanent Need for Regular Aid and Attendance) and mail it to the PMC for your state. You can have your doctor fill out the examination information section.
You can also include with your VA form:
• Other evidence, like a doctor’s report, that shows you need Aid and Attendance or Housebound care
• Details about what you normally do during the day and how you get to places
• Details that help show what kind of illness, injury, or mental or physical disability affects your ability to do things, like take a bath, on your own
If you’re in a nursing home, you’ll also need to fill out a Request for Nursing Home Information in Connection with Claim for Aid and Attendance (VA Form 21-0779).
2. Apply in person – You can bring your information to a VA regional office near you. Be sure to check if they are accepting in-person applications due to COVID-19 regulations.
How Long Does it Take the VA to Make a Decision?
The VA processes claim in the order they are received, unless a claim requires priority processing.
For more information, visit www.va.gov/pension/aid-attendance-housebound.