This week I visited Carol, primary caregiver for William her husband. William served stateside during the Korean War. It was obvious Carol was exhausted from caring for him. She told me she realized they needed help, but home care cost more than they could afford. She was wearing herself out caring for William, and if something wasn’t done, she was going to need a caregiver too.
I asked if she had contacted anyone about the Aid and Attendance Program the VA offers. The first part of the problem for most people in William and Carol’s circumstances is that they don’t know what programs are available through the VA to help. She replied she had asked someone at the American Legion and they told her William did not qualify since he did not have the required one day of active combat service.
Aid and Attendance (A&A) is a benefit that is paid in addition to a veteran’s basic pension. A&A is for veterans who need financial help for in-home care, to pay for an assisted living facility or a nursing home. It is a non-service connected disability benefit. That means the disability does not have to be a result of service. That brings us to the second part of the problem.
Unfortunately, not everyone you ask has the correct answer to the question. The VA has many benefit programs to help veterans, but because there are so many, sometimes your counselor may not be providing you with accurate information.
Don’t hesitate to ask for written information about the qualifications for programs you’re interested in learning more about. Ask someone else if you think the answer is incorrect.
We are applying for A&A for William…it is a benefit that can mean the difference between his remaining home or being admitted to a nursing facility.