How to Apply for VA Aid & Attendance?
How do veterans or eligible surviving spouses apply for the Aid and Attendance pension?
Generally, applications are processed via the mail. Documents include the VA Aid and Attendance form, VA Form 21-2680. There is also an examination information section which needs to be completed by the senior’s doctor. Veterans can complete the form independently, or take it to a VA regional office for assistance. Either way, seniors should be prepared with the following:
— Social security number
— VA file number
— Veteran’s service number
Additional forms may be submitted to support your application. For example, a doctor’s report can help support the application by defining health and functionality. If a veteran or their surviving spouse lives in a nursing home, they’ll need to download and complete the official Request for Nursing Home Information in Connection with Claim for Aid and Attendance. (Generally, in these cases, the nursing home will receive the majority of any financial benefit.)
Seniors can also submit a statement about their day-to-day lives, such as how a disability affects their routine or difficulties with transportation.
While veterans and their families can fill out successful applications themselves, sometimes trained help is needed. Home Care Partners can answer basic questions about Aid and Attendance, and will outline expectations of eligibility. Please call us!
Elder attorneys are sometimes enlisted for help with the application process. There is no charge for the completion of the claim forms. However, there may be fees associated with advice and planning.
The VA will process applications upon receipt. But elders and veterans should expect 3 – 6 months before a determination is issued. The VA will release their findings via the mail. Soon thereafter, for those who have been approved, a monthly payment will follow. Veterans 85 and older may benefit from “priority processing” by the VA, which aims to speed up this process.
While the delay in processing applications is frustrating, there is some good news. Once the VA confirms a veteran or their surviving spouse is eligible for Aid and Attendance, they will receive retroactive payments covering the previous months when the application was pending.
The VA Aid and Attendance pension program helps with senior living and in-home care affordability — making daily assistance more attainable for many veterans and their families.
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164