International Forecaster Weekly

Aid And Attendance

This isn’t a get rich quick scheme or a scam or anything else. This is a benefit that people who served in the military are eligible for, and frankly one I didn’t know existed.

Bob Rinear | September 5, 2018

Just because I write a newsletter, and sometimes come off as some form of authority on things, trust me folks, I am the first to admit I sure don’t know everything. That became blatantly true last week dealing with my Mom. I learned something last week that might be helpful to you. If you remember, Mom had been in the hospital, came home, but urgently needed some Rehab.

There’s a program run by the VA called aid and attendance. Basically what it does is if you served in the military, you OR YOUR WIDOWED SPOUSE is eligible for help around the home if you become unable to get through the day unaided.

I found this out as the Case worker was dealing with my mom. When she asked if her late husband ( my dad) had been in the service, Mom replied “Yes, World War II, in France and Germany”. The woman then produced papers that show how mom could get some benefits from the VA regarding home care.

Aid is available in some of the following instances:

You require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment

You are bedridden, in that your disability or disabilities requires that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment

You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity

Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less

While some of you might know all about this program, it was an eye opener for me. We know that my mom’s going to need some help around the house when she gets out of rehab, and the Case worker suggested that Mom fill out the appropriate forms to actually get some of these benefits.

In general terms, such as the case of my Mom, Dad was indeed in WWII, and he fought in combat. As long as she can produce a good discharge paper, and some other items, she’s eligible for some monthly money to help her around the house.

From what I’ve learned so far, excluding house and car, you can’t have more than 80K dollars in liquid assets. In other words if you have CD’s totaling 125K, you can’t apply. But if your bank holdings add up to less than 80K, you can indeed apply.

The interesting part is that YOU get to direct where the money goes. Once you do your work sheet, that shows say, how much your paying for in home care, or help with shopping, groceries, etc, the amount you’re eligible for gets deposited to YOUR account. You can spend it where you need.

This is really quite remarkable for all of you out there that might be the “care giver” to an aging mom or dad. Let’s suppose you do the application and you’ve been spending approximately 1200 dollars a month for extra help. Once approved ( can take 3-4 months) they will retro you right back to the application date, and begin giving you that 1100 – 1200 dollars.

So, let’s say your mom is the widow of a man who served in WWI, Korea, or even Vietnam. She’s got some problems and needs some amount of care around the house. Even if it is YOU, the son or daughter, that’s been supplying the help, you can equate that to an hourly expense.

You fill out the paperwork, and let’s say that 3 months goes by before you’re approved for 1100 a month. That first check to your mom or dad will be 3300 dollars, and then every month thereafter will be 1100.

She/he can use it to pay for a home health aid, charges not covered by Medicare, OR she can pay you for your services.

While this isn’t a tremendous amount of money, I know several people that have been, and are, taking care of a parent whose spouse was indeed in the military. That grand a month would go a long way toward “helping” those kids that are indeed sacrificing a lot to take care of mom.

You can apply by writing to the Pension Management Center of the State they live in, or find a regional office and do it in person. You should include copies of any evidence, preferably a report from an attending physician validating the need for Aid and Attendance or Housebound type care.

The report should be in sufficient detail to determine whether there is disease or injury producing physical or mental impairment, loss of coordination, or conditions affecting the ability to dress and undress, to feed oneself, to attend to sanitary needs, and to keep oneself ordinarily clean and presentable.

Whether the claim is for Aid and Attendance or Housebound, the report should indicate how well the applicant gets around, where the applicant goes, and what he or she is able to do during a typical day. In addition, it is necessary to determine whether the claimant is confined to the home or immediate premises.

This isn’t a get rich quick scheme or a scam or anything else. This is a benefit that people who served in the military are eligible for, and frankly one I didn’t know existed. Those people served their country and in return they’re able to access this resource, and what a great resource it is.

As you might know, my wife owns a Home Healthcare company, and the bulk of her clients are elderly that simply need some extra help around the house with light housekeeping, meal prep, medicine reminders, transportation, etc. I would bet that less than one out of ten knows this program is even available, yet it would be a blessing to them.

How can I say that? Since I learned of it, we told one of her clients that IS a Vet, and he had no idea. He’s since applied for it.

If she sends help for a couple hours a day, five days a week, the cost to the customer is about 200 dollars per week. If they could qualify for Aid and attendance, not only would that pay the entire tab for the month, they might even decide for an extra day of help or maybe a day with more than two hours.

It’s a good benefit, and I simply bring it to your attention in case ( Like me) you haven’t heard about it. Look it up, do some research and if it’s something that can help your mom or dad ( OR YOU!) by all means go for it. I hope it helps you all.