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How Can Women Who Never Served in the Military Qualify for a VA Pension?

Dorothy, seen here with her daughter, is a surviving spouse of a wartime veteran.
Through the VetAssist Program from Veterans Home Care, she accessed VA Aid and Attendance to pay for in-home care.

Many elderly women who never served in the military qualify for a VA Pension with Aid and Attendance and use the funds to pay for in-home care, incontinence supplies, electronic alert bracelets or other assistance so they can live safely at home. Women who never served in the military can qualify for a VA Pension as a surviving spouse of a wartime veteran.

Unfortunately, most eligible veterans don’t realize that they qualify much less that the pension extends to their surviving spouse after their death. The benefit from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) called “Aid and Attendance” can help elderly, low-income, disabled veterans or their surviving spouses pay for long-term care.

Yet even as word spreads among social workers, hospital discharge planners, service coordinators home care professionals and others about the VA Aid and Attendance pension, often only male veterans are considered candidates for the VA Pension.

In order to qualify for Aid and Attendance Pension as a surviving spouse:

  • A surviving spouse must have been married to the veteran at the time of his/her death.
  • The marriage must have lasted for at least one year.
  • A doctor must verify a disability that requires assistance with activities of daily living.
  • A surviving spouse must prove limited financial income and assets.

Remember, a veteran is eligible if he or she served 90 days of active duty with one day during a wartime. This doesn’t mean the veteran had to have served in active combat. Combat duty is NOT a requirement to receive a VA Pension with the added “Aid and Attendance” benefit. If the veteran served during the Gulf War period or entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally he or she must have served at least 24 months active duty with at least one day during a war time period.

At Veterans Home Care, we help veterans, and their surviving spouses gain access to funds from the VA to help pay for in-home care. If you are seeking the VA Aid and Attendance Pension to cover the cost of home care, please contact Veterans Home Care. Our VetAssist Program helps both veterans and women who never served in the military determine eligibility, apply for the VA benefit and access quality home care. For more information about Veterans Home Care’s VetAssist Program, call 888-314-6075.

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Bonnie Laiderman

Bonnie Laiderman, founder and president of Veterans Home Care®, has helped more than 13,000 veterans and their spouses receive in-home care through the unique VetAssist® Program. Started in 2003 as a one woman operation, Bonnie has overseen the growth of the company to appear on Inc. Magazine's national list of 5000 fastest growing companies and to become the industry leader.

Now with offices from coast to coast and a network of more than 2,400 home care providers, Veterans Home Care serves our veterans in 44 states throughout the country.

In addition to growing Veterans Home Care to become the largest provider of its kind, Bonnie is a member of the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle, a national society of women leaders. Bonnie also serves as Chairperson for the American Red Cross Service Armed Forces Committee.