VA Financial Benefits - Geriatrics and Extended Care
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Geriatrics and Extended Care

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VA Financial Benefits

Compensation

Service-Connected Disability

A “service-connected disability” is a disability that is related to your active military service. Your disability is assigned a rating (0% to 100%) based on how severely it impacts your daily life. The greater your disability, the higher your rating.

VA Disability Compensation

VA Disability Compensation is a monthly tax-free payment to Veterans who have a service-connected disability. The higher your rating, the higher monthly payments will be.
However, having a disability caused by your active military service does NOT automatically start disability compensation payments. You need to APPLY for those benefits. It is important to do this because your service-connected disability status affects how much you pay for VA health care services, what programs you are eligible for, and your priority in receiving certain services.

How do I apply for VA Disability Compensation?

There are several ways to apply for your service-connected disability status. You can:

  • Complete and mail VA Form 21-526EZ-ARE to your Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) regional office. To find your VBA regional office, visit the facility locator site, or
  • Complete the application online using an eBenefits account, or
  • Work with an accredited representative or agent, such as a Veteran Services Officer. You can search for a representative here, or visit your local VBA office for assistance.

Your disability needs to be reviewed by staff at VBA and assigned a rating before you can receive payments.

Special Monthly Compensation

If you receive VA compensation for a service-connected disability, you may be eligible to receive additional monthly monetary benefits if you ALSO:

  • Require significant help with your personal care needs by another person because of your disability, or
  • Are bedridden because of your disability

You can use your Special Monthly Compensation payments to help pay for services that you need.

How do I Apply for Special Monthly Compensation?

  • Complete and mail VA Form 21-526EZ-ARE to your VBA regional office. To find your VBA regional office, visit the facility locator site, or
  • Work with an accredited representative or agent, such as a Veteran Services Officer. You can search for a representative here, or visit your local VBA office for assistance.

Helpful Website

The VA Disability Compensation website contains information about:

  • Eligibility and how to apply
  • Payment rates
  • Special monthly compensation

Veterans Pension

Veterans Pension is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to low-income war-time Veterans who are ALSO:

  • 65 or older, or
  • Totally and permanently disabled, or
  • Living in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, or
  • Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, or
  • Receiving Supplemental Security Income

Low-income guidelines are set by Congress. A single Veteran, with no dependents, must have an annual income of less than $13,535 to be considered low-income in 2019. Additional income is allowed if you have dependents. A chart of income limits can be found on the Maximum Annual Pension Rate website.

How much pension can I receive?

Your payments will raise your income to the Maximum Annual Pension Rate, and not exceed it. For example, if you are a single Veteran who earns $12,200 per year, then your monthly payment would be about $111 ($13,535 maximum annual pension rate - $12,200 current annual income, divided by 12 months). Pension benefits are paid monthly.

How do I apply?

  • Complete and mail VA Form 21-526 to your Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) regional office. To find your VBA regional office, visit the facility locator site, or
  • Complete the application online using an eBenefits account, or
  • Work with an accredited representative or agent, such as a Veteran Services Officer. You can search for representatives here, or visit your local VBA office for assistance.

Helpful Website

The VA Pension website covers information about supplemental income for wartime Veterans:

  • Eligibility and how to apply
  • Payment rates

Aid and Attendance

Aid and Attendance Allowance

If you receive a VA pension, you may be eligible to receive additional monthly monetary benefits from the VA, IF you:

  • Require the help of another person for everyday personal care needs (such as bathing, dressing, toileting), or
  • Are bedridden, or
  • Live in a nursing home and are physically or mentally incapacitated, or
  • Have poor eyesight (5/200 corrected visual acuity or less in both eyes)

You can use your Aid and Attendance payments to help pay for the services that you need.

Housebound Allowance

If you receive a VA pension, you may be eligible to receive additional monthly monetary benefits from the VA, IF you are significantly restricted to your residence because of a permanent disability. You can use your Housebound Allowance payments to help pay for the services that you need.

How do I apply for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits?

Send a written statement to your Veterans Benefits Administration regional office that includes a report from your doctor that describes your need for these benefits. The report should include:

  • The reasons your condition makes it difficult for you to manage your personal care needs (such as bathing, dressing, toileting, moving around)
  • That your condition makes it difficult for you to leave your home (or residential setting)
  • What activities you can do in a typical day

Helpful Website

The VA Benefits website has a helpful page about Aid and Attendance and Housebound allowances, which provides information for Veterans and caregivers about:

  • Eligibility and how to apply
  • Payment rates