Veterans fearlessly defended our country during their time in the military, naval, or air services. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers benefits to qualified veterans who fought for our freedoms, such as health care, pension payments, housing assistance, and more. Eligible former military members seeking a lively assisted living community may use specific VA benefits as payment for their new home.
Which VA Benefits Cover Assisted Living Costs?
Former active service members and their spouses can utilize two programs to cover assisted living expenses: The VA Pension and Aid and Attendance benefits.
VA Pension Benefit Eligibility
The Veterans Pensions program offers monthly tax-free payments to wartime veterans meeting specific criteria, such as age, disability, income, and net worth limits.
Veterans eligible for the Pension benefit must meet both of the following:
- You did not receive a dishonorable discharge
- Your annual income and net worth meet limits set by Congress
Further, at least one of the following must describe your active service:
- You started on active duty before September 8, 1980, and served at least 90 days on active duty, with at least one day in active wartime.
- You started active duty as an enlisted member after September 7, 1980, and either served at least 24 months or the entire period you were called or ordered, with at least one day in active wartime.
- You were an officer starting active duty after October 16, 1981, and you hadn’t previously served on active duty in 24 months.
Finally, at least one of the following must be true of you:
- You have a permanent and total disability resulting from your service
- You’re over 65 years of age
- You’re a patient in a nursing home or have other care due to a disability
- You’re receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income
VA Survivors Pension Eligibility
The VA Survivors Pension offers monthly payments to eligible surviving spouses and unmarried dependent children of wartime veterans that meet Congressional income and net worth requirements. Spouses may be eligible for the VA Survivors Pension benefit if they haven’t remarried after a veteran’s death and the veteran did not receive a dishonorable discharge.
The active service requirements are the same as the VA Pension benefit. However, as an unmarried spouse or dependent child, you must meet yearly income and net worth limits from Congress.
VA Aid and Attendance Eligibility
Aid and Attendance benefits provide monthly payments in addition to VA pension installments. Qualified veterans and survivors can use the additional money to pay for assisted living expenses. Those already receiving VA pension benefits may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit if they require assistance from another person with activities of daily living (ADLs).
How to Apply for VA Pension
If you believe you meet all the VA Pension and Survivors Pension eligibility requirements, you must have the following information at your disposal when completing the application:
- Social Security Number or VA File Number
- Military history
- Your financial information and your dependents’ financial information
- Bank account direct deposit information
- Work history
- Medical information
You can apply for the VA Pension and Survivors Pension program in four ways:
When applying online, follow the step-by-step instructions. The program will guide you forward as you complete each step, ensuring every box contains accurate information. You will complete the application and submit your completed paperwork via the Internet.
You’ll download the Application for Pension (VA Form 21P-527EZ) when you apply by mail. Once you’ve downloaded the form, print it out and complete it. Then, mail your finished application to the Pension Management Center:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Pension Intake Center
PO Box 5365
Janesville, WI 53547-5365
Applying in person takes place at your nearest VA regional office. Ensure you bring all the information needed to complete the application. The advantage of applying at your local VA regional office is the ability to ask questions about the form that may arise.
The Department of Veterans Affairs can connect you with a trained professional called an Accredited Representative. These individuals specialize in submitting VA claims and applications and would be happy to assist you. Many assisted living communities also offer concierge services and can help you locate a professional.
How to Apply for VA Aid and Attendance
There are two primary ways of applying for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit:
To apply via mail:
- Download the Examination for Housebound Status or Permanent Need for Regular Aid and Attendance (VA Form 21-2680).
- Once you print the application and complete the required sections, seek the assistance of your doctor to fill out the examination information section.
- Mail your completed form to your state’s Pension Management Center (PMC).
It’s in your best interest to add supporting details to your application, such as:
- Other evidence showing you need Aid and Attendance, like a doctor’s report
- A description of your daily activities and your means of transportation
- Details on how you struggle with activities of daily living (ADLs), like bathing or dressing
Like the VA Pension application process, you can print the VA Form 21-2680 and bring the completed document to your nearest VA regional office. Although applying in person has benefits, such as asking questions in real-time, you must remember to bring all critical documentation.
What Sundale Senior Living Offers
Sundale Senior Living in Huntsville, TX, allows older adults to maintain their free, active lifestyles. Our vibrant community gives seniors and their families peace of mind knowing that assistance is always available. Residents enjoy:
- Apartment-style living
- Nutritious, chef-inspired meals
- Light housekeeping and laundry
- On-site beauty salon
- Emergency call pendants
- Enriching programs
- Group outings
- And more.
We understand the importance of finding your next home. Our team is here to help you. If your VA benefits don’t cover the entirety of your living expenses, we will walk through a financial worksheet together and determine a solution. Additionally, our concierge services are available to connect you with experts if you need assistance applying for VA benefits.
Learn More About How to Apply for VA Assisted Living Benefits
Sundale Senior Living accepts multiple payment options, including VA benefits. We know the process of applying for VA benefits can seem overwhelming, so we’re here to assist. You or a loved one fought courageously for our country – you deserve an active, independent retirement. Reach out today to discuss how to apply for VA assisted living benefits!