Pursuing Benefits for Veterans: Don’t Give Up
Even without a global pandemic, winter and holidays put extra stress on those caring for vulnerable veterans. Securing additional benefits to help can be daunting—but worth it.
Underutilized Aid and Attendance Benefit
Both in-home care and facility care are ever more costly. In many families, the spouses or other relations of vulnerable veterans experience financial insecurity while struggling to ensure veterans have needed care.
Many wartime veterans get older and need help with the activities of daily living, but are unaware of benefits they are eligible for or are intimidated by the time-consuming application process. “People just don’t know that this benefit exists,” says Matthew Margolis, an estate planning and elder law attorney in Park Ridge, Illinois.
The Aid and Attendance benefit from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can help to offset the costs of care—for life. The benefit is underutilized—and the process of applying for it challenging. However, once awarded, up to $2,200 per month is available.
The veteran must be at least 65 years old or have a permanent and total disability and meet the service, asset, income and medical requirements. The surviving spouse of an eligible veteran can also receive the benefit if he or she needs care.
Service requirement: The veteran must have had at least 90 consecutive days of service, with at least one day of active service during these times of war:
- WWII: 7, 1941, to Dec. 31, 1946
- Korean conflict:June 27, 1950, to Jan. 31, 1955
- Vietnam War era: 5, 1964, to May 7, 1975
- Gulf War: Aug. 2, 1990, until the present
Review the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs completes eligibility guidelines here.
Aid and Attendance Application Support
Although the application process for Aid and Attendance can be lengthy and time-consuming, help can be found. One source is a local Veterans Service Organization (VSO)—the VA provides this directory.
Eldercare attorneys, financial planners and geriatric care managers may also be able to provide assistance securing veteran’s benefits, like Aid and Attendance. Though you will pay a fee, it might be worth it, considering the overall value of securing monthly support. As with any professional you hire, be sure to check references, prices and services carefully, so you don’t become a victim of scam or fraud.
Get Help With Benefit Management
If you worry that age, injury or illness is preventing a veteran you love from properly managing their overall benefits, note that the VA can appoint a fiduciary to receive and manage the benefits on behalf of the veteran and dependents. A VA Fiduciary can be a spouse, relative, friend, or other qualified caregivers, who undergoes the VA background screening process prior to appointment.
When appointing a fiduciary to receive and manage benefits on behalf of a veteran, the VA generally requires aVA Fiduciary Bond. This is for the protection of the veteran and beneficiaries.
Colonial Surety Company is a leading national provider of VA fiduciary bonds. Licensed in all 50 states and US Territories, Colonial makes it quick and efficient to obtain required bonds. Our services are direct and digital. Obtain A VA Fiduciary Bond Now!
With Colonial’s easy, direct and digital service, it’s easy to obtain a VA Fiduciary Bond. The steps are simple—get a quote online, fill out your information, answer our underwriting questions, and enter your payment method. Print your bond from your home or office. It’s that simple!