Veteran’s Pension Benefits: Aid and Attendance

What is the Aid & Attendance Pension?

The Veteran’s Administration (VA) Aid & Attendance (A&A) Pension provides benefits for eligible veterans and/or their surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing and undressing or taking care of the needs of nature.  Individuals who are blind or are in an Assisted Living Facility may also qualify.  This is a non-service connected program, meaning the veteran does not need to be disabled as a result of his/her wartime service.  The Aid & Attendance Pension can provide up to:

  • $25,525 per year ($2,127/month) to a qualified married veteran
  • $21,531 per year ($1,794/month) to a qualified single veteran
  • $13,836 per year ($1,153/month) to a qualified surviving spouse

Basic Eligibility Criteria for Aid & Attendance:

  • Active Duty:  ninety days of active service, one day of which must have been during wartime
  • Wartime:  WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War and Gulf War
  • Discharged:  Other than dishonorable
  • Medical Evaluation:  Physician’s evaluation of medical issues
  • Financial Limitations:  Limited income and assets available: Demonstration of unreimbursed medical expenses

Qualifying for the Aid & Attendance Pension:

The growing popularity of the Aid & Attendance program has created an unfortunate opportunity for individuals and organizations to prey on our elderly veterans and provide misinformation.  Exercise caution in the counsel you receive.  Rely on accredited Veteran’s Service Officers, accredited attorneys, and legitimate Veteran’s Affairs websites.  Check credentials and accreditations prior to divulging private information.  Qualifying for this program should be part of a comprehensive long term care plan.  Understand that you DO NOT need to purchase an annuity to qualify.  Repositioning assets or purchasing an annuity to qualify for A&A, without proper advice from a qualified elder law attorney, may create severe tax implications and/or other penalties, may adversely affect your existing estate plan, and may disqualify you for other public benefits such as Medi-Cal.


Nicole R Plottel Certified Elder Law Attorney

Nicole R. Plottel, Certified Elder Law Attorney is Managing Partner of the Firm.  She is also a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.  Ms. Plottel is further accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs to represent and present veterans’ claims and focuses her practice in the areas of Estate Planning, Medi-Cal/Veteran’s benefits, Probate and Trust Administration.  She is a longstanding member of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and also volunteers on the Incapacity Subcommittee of the Executive Committee of the Trust & Estates (TEXCOM) Section of the State Bar of California.  Ms. Plottel actively serves the local community as a Bard Member for the Enloe Hospital Foundation and the Gateway Science Museum Community Advisory Board, and the Chico Community Scholarship Association.  She is also a longtime advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association.