To be eligible for the Aid and Attendance Benefit, which can provide financial assistance to veterans and their dependents when they need home care, they need to have served at least one day of their active duty service during a time in which the United States was officially engaged in combat. This does not mean they had to have fought in a combat situation, but rather their time of service needs to have overlapped one.
In other words, they have to be considered a wartime veteran.
That’s essentially what this means. A person does not need to have served in a forward combat situation to be considered a ‘wartime veteran.’ They might have been stationed thousands upon thousands of miles away from any active combat zone and they may have only served two days at the end of the Vietnam War or the beginning of the Gulf War, for example, and they would be considered a ‘wartime veteran.’
The Aid and Attendance Benefit is a pension program that is only made available to those who are considered wartime veterans. This may seem unfair to some veterans who served during a time of relative peace, where the United States was not officially engaged in any combat around the world, but that is specifically how the pension was initially developed.
It was designed after World War I.
The Aid and Attendance Benefit was developed at the end of World War I. Soldiers who had been injured and disabled during combat were returning home and needed help. Some couldn’t afford the right care at home, so the Veteran’s Administration designed this pension to provide some financial support so they could get the proper care they needed.
It expanded through the years to provide support and financial assistance for veterans from all walks of life, whether they were injured or disabled during active duty service or not. The main requirements include a minimum of 90 days active duty in one of the major branches of the United States military (with at least one day overlapping a time of official combat, as explained). If they served any time during the Gulf War, that minimum time service needs to be two years.
Veterans also must be able to show, usually through a doctor’s recommendation, that home care is necessary. Finally, they must be limited in their income and assets. Currently, $119,000 is the threshold for combined income and assets. In most cases, a primary residence is not included in these calculations, though that depends on each circumstance and situation.
If a wartime veteran is struggling at home, would benefit from a home care aide, and can’t afford it on his or her own, they should look into applying for the Aid and Attendance Benefit.
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