Veteran’s benefit rarely used

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    Amanda Blount

    Many people on GOVLOOP are prior service, or work with people who are prior service. This is an important benefit that is available to Veterans. Of course, please research all information before making any final decisions. There are some age and financial requirements.

    Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
    Caveats: NONE


    “Aid and Attendance”

    Regardless of your personal status, consider passing this along to all veterans, families of veterans or individuals with veterans in their family.

    “Aid and Attendance” is an underutilized special monthly pension benefit offered by the Veterans Administration for veterans and surviving spouses who require in-home care or live in nursing homes.

    To qualify, a veteran (includes the surviving spouse) must have served at least 90 days of active military service, one day of which is during a period of war, and must be discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

    The veteran’s benefit is $18,234 annually (paid monthly) and increases to $21,615 if a veteran has one dependent. The surviving spouse alone is $11,715 annually.

    For more information, call 1-800-827-1000 Visit < > (type “Aid and Attendance” in the search block), or contact your local VA office.

    Apply on-line at < >

    In 2007, only 134,000 seniors nationwide received the benefit, which was established in 1952. “Literally hundreds of thousands don’t even know about it,” Soard said. “Due to incomplete information, many disqualify themselves on income or assets or find the paperwork too burdensome.”

    Streamlined process –

    Contact Don Soard, a volunteer with Operation Veteran Aid in Oklahoma City >>>>

    Soard helps families complete the necessary forms, so that approval comes in four to six months. The process is streamlined for vets who are blind or have memory issues and widows with medical needs, he said. Most applicants qualify and payments are retroactive, Soard said. The few who are denied on excessive liquid assets can seek financial advice to qualify, he said. Soard started his volunteer mission two years ago, following the deaths of two family members who served in WWII. “If they’d known about this benefit, they’d have a much better quality of life in later years,” he said. “Without it, many vets are forced to go on Medicaid

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