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What Does a ‘Qualifying Veteran’ Mean When It Comes to Aid and Attendance Benefits?

In order to be eligible to receive financial support through the Aid and Attendance Benefit, a veteran must be considered a ‘qualifying veteran.’ This means he or she meets the various criteria set forth by the Veterans Administration to receive financial assistance to pay for home care services.

The veteran needs to have served during a time of official combat.

This does not, however, mean he or she had to have fought in a forward combat situation. They need only be considered a wartime veteran, which essentially means their active duty service overlapped a time in which the United States was actively engaged in official combat somewhere in the world. For example, a veteran may have been stationed in Hawaii during the Vietnam War. They wouldn’t have seen any combat whatsoever, but because they served at least one day during that conflict, they would be considered a wartime veteran.

Income and assets must meet certain threshold limits.

Currently the combined income and assets for a veteran cannot exceed $119,000. A primary residence may or may not be included in that calculation, depending on certain factors. Each case is reviewed individually by the VA to determine eligibility for Aid and Attendance Benefit.

They must also prove home care is necessary.

A person might have difficulty with Activities of Daily Living from time to time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the VA will consider that a specific and documentable necessity for home care support services. If a veteran is not safe or requires assistance on a regular basis for many of those basic tasks, and they can prove it, they may be eligible based on that criteria.

A recommendation from a doctor could be instrumental at helping convince the review board that this particular veteran truly does need home care support.

The Aid and Attendance Benefit can be a significant pension for those veterans who qualify for it. Whenever somebody needs long-term care at home in the form of an aide or other caregiver, the cost can be significant calculated over many months and years. This pension can help qualifying veterans avoid financial calamity and also get the physical support and assistance they need to stay safe, healthy, and maintain as high of a quality of life as possible at home.

It’s important to note that the approval process could take many months so veterans are encouraged to apply as early as possible once they realize home care would be a benefit in their life.


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Christy Swadkins

Christy Swadkins is the owner of Golden Heart Senior Care serving Summerlin and the Las Vegas area.Her personal and professional background brings a unique and rich quality to the care she provides for her clients.

Christy has a M.A. degree in Psychology and has worked helping families for over 25 years. She has worked in various settings including social service agencies, nursing homes and schools. Christy's ultimate professional goal is to use her talents and experience to make a difference in the lives of others.

Several years ago Christy's dad started showing signs of Dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Her family was faced with emotionally challenging decisions and she realized how difficult this situation can be for families. Christy wanted to use her personal experience to support others who are in the process of taking care of their elderly loved ones.

Christy has developed an exceptional support program for those providing care for elderly family members. Educational information and emotional support is available to help families cope with the stress and physical demands of caring for senior loved ones. It is Christy's philosophy that each stage of life is precious and individuals of all ages need to be treated with the utmost respect and dignity.

Christy seeks out Golden Heart team members who demonstrate a nurturing, respectful and professional demeanor.Christy truly appreciates the caregivers who work for Golden Heart and provides them with exceptional educational, emotional and professional support.

Christy is honored to be supporting the families of the Las Vegas valley.