What are VA Benefits?

Posted by Marissa Barnard on Mar 26, 2016

In Financial, Main




VA Benefits are available to help veterans and their spouses obtain financial aid to pay for long-term care costs. Expenses for home health care, assisted living facilities or skilled nursing facilities are among the many expenses that qualify you to receive a pension from the V.A.Within the VA benefits there are 3 three categories which veterans and or their spouses can qualify for.

Within VA Benefits there are three categories which a veteran can qualify for, these three categories are VA Pension, VA Aid and Attendance, and Housebound Benefits.

What do each of these tiers entail?

VA PENSION - This pension helps veterans and their families by providing a set amount of money monthly on a needs-based to help offset the costs home health care for aging veterans.

AID & ATTENDANCE - Through Aid and Attendance veterans that qualify for VA Pension can also receive an additional amount for health care if they require aid and attendance of another person.

HOUSEBOUND BENEFITS - With Housebound Benefits veterans, who are housebound due to permanent disability, can receive an added benefit on top of the VA Pension. To help with health care costs as well.


So all in all the VA Pension is usually given to all elderly veterans that are in need of health care. Then Aid and Attendance and Housebound Benefits are added on top of the VA Pension for those who need extra care, either due to permanent disabilities or just added attention.


Single Veteran

$1,759 per month

$21,108 per year

Married Veteran

$2,085 per month

$25,020 per year

Widowed Spouse of a Veteran

$1,130 per month

$13,560 per year

Veteran Married to a Veteran

$2,761 per month

$33,132 per year

Each Additional Dependent

$180 per month

$2,160 per year

*Rates listed are maximum possible benefit payments. Not all veterans will qualify to receive the maximum amount.


This extra income can be a welcome benefit for all veterans, especially those families struggling to provide elder care for loved ones at home. Under the right circumstances, this annualized medical expense for the cost of family members, friends or any other person providing care,could create an additional household income of up to $1,056 a month for a single surviving spouse of a veteran, up to $1,644 a month for a single veteran or up to $1,949 a month for a couple.

To qualify for the above benefits one must meet the following conditions:

1) Veteran must have served at least 90 days of active military service with at least one day being during a wartime period.

Official period of war include:

World War II, 12/07/1941- 12/31/1946

Korean Conflict, 06/27/1950- 01/31/1955

Vietnam War, 08/05/1964- 05/07/1975 (02/28/1961 if served in Vietnam)

Persian Gulf War, 08/02/1990-TBD


2.) Veteran must have received a military discharge other than dishonorable. Military discharges include, from highest to lowest: honorable, general, other than honorable, bad conduct, and dishonorable.


3.) Veteran must be in need of the daily aid and attendance* of another person in order to avoid the everyday hazards of his or her environment.


*Aid and Attendance is defined as needing help with prescription management, bathing, toileting, dressing, getting in and out of bed and other activities of daily living. To qualify for A&A it needs to be established by your physician that you require daily assistance by others for the activities of daily living. You DO NOT have to require assistance with all of these activities to qualify. There simply needs to be adequate medical evidence that you cannot adequately function on your own.



The application process can take a little bit of time if you don't have all the papers and information ready. Though the whole process from start to finish could take up to 9 months, once approved the veteran is paid a lump sum retroactively and is paid for the months the application was being approved.

To learn more about the benefits and or the applying process follow this link: http://www.benefits.va.gov/pension/

Applying for VA Benefits can be a little confusing and overwhelming. The paperwork, the questions, timeline and such. If you do need help click here and talk to someone at Utah Senior Planning. They have many resorces and knowledge of VA Benefits and they can help with anyother senior financial planning questions you might have. 

Also as another resource we have for you is out 5 Little-Known Financial Resources. We have put together some information that can help you plan financial for your future. 

5 Little Known Financial Resources for Assisted Living