Aid and Attendance Eligibility Requirements

By | September 19, 2013

Are you a veteran who has served at least 90 days of active duty and now require some level of living assistance? You may qualify for the Aid and Attendance monthly pension, which can provide up to $12,465 a year for a single veteran. You’ll need to fulfill these three basic requirements:

  • You served at least 90 days of active duty.
  • You currently require a caretaker or assisted living facility.
  • You have less than $80,000 in assets and $20,465 in annual income.

Basic Wartime Service Eligibility

Aid and Attendance is only available to veterans who have served at least 90 days of active duty. At least one day of active duty must have taken place during the conflicts listed below. There are some exceptions to these dates — for example, World War I veterans who served in the Soviet Union from April 6, 1917 to April 1, 1920 meet the wartime service requirement, but veterans who began serving in other countries after Nov. 11, 1918 do not.

Conflict Dates
Indian Wars Jan. 1, 1817 to Dec. 31, 1898
Spanish-American War April 21, 1898 to July 4, 1902
Mexican Border War May 9, 1916 to April 5, 1917
World War I April 6, 1917 to Nov. 11, 1918
World War II Dec. 7, 1941 to July 25, 1947
Korean Conflict June 27, 1950 to Jan. 31, 1955
Vietnam Era Aug. 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975
Persian Gulf War Aug. 2, 1990 to TBD


Please note that the Persian Gulf War eligibility period still lacks an end date set by Congress or the President of the United States.


Living Assistance

Veterans who meet the wartime service requirements listed above must also require assistance to perform basic day-to-day activities such as eating, dressing, and bathing. You don’t need to reside in an assisted living or nursing home — an in-home caretaker is enough to qualify. To prove medical eligibility, you’ll need a signed evaluation from a licensed physician.


Net Assets and Income Limits

Aid and Attendance is generally reserved for veterans who have less than $80,000 in assets, which include your bank and retirement accounts, furniture, and electronics. However, you do not need to list your home or vehicle.

Income is slightly more difficult to figure out. Add up earned income, disability payments, retirement distributions, and investment income. However, you can subtract any unreimbursed medical expenses that exceed 5 percent of your MAPR. If you’re a single veteran, you can subtract any medical expenses over $623 each year from your countable income.

Net assets and countable income are decided on a case-by-case basis. If you qualify, your countable income will largely determine your monthly pension amount. Veterans who are close to the $20,795 countable income limit will receive a smaller pension than veterans with smaller incomes. These limits are different for veterans with surviving spouses or dependents.

There is no absolute way to guarantee eligibility. Legal limits do not exist for net assets, so even if you own less than $80,000 in assets, you may still be turned down on the basis of your net worth. Fortunately, most of the other requirements are legally defined.


Photo: Some rights reserved by USAG-Humphreys

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