Posted by : Amara Chan Thursday, November 14, 2013

Growing old is actually a difficult phase in life. Some even say it's like being born backwards: with reality hitting them hard every day. Certain situations like financial debt and illnesses make matters worse – not only for the seniors themselves, but also for their friends and family. It's important that society lend a hand as well in caring for these elders who gave years of their lives to serve the community and their country.

US Veteran

Veterans are an example of those who badly need assistance; particularly those who have disabilities or require nursing aide. Even though the government has allotted an appropriate budget for veteran programs, it's unfortunate that many are not aware of these benefits. 

What is Veteran’s Aide and Attendance Program?

Also called the A&A, this pension provides assistance to veterans and their surviving spouses who are legally (but not totally) disabled. This means that they would regularly need the help of another in everyday tasks such as dressing themselves, cooking, eating, and bathing. This includes veterans who need nursing home assistance due to physical or mental incapacity. 

What are the benefits if qualified?

Unknown to many, one in every four seniors can actually qualify for A&A – but so many people are just not educated about it. Once the pension is approved, a veteran can receive up to $2,000 a month, depending on their medical and financial condition. They can also file for their sick spouse with up to $1,300 per month in pension.  

How to qualify for A&A

Any war-time veteran who has served 90 days of active duty, with one day beginning or ending during a time of war, can be qualified. There's been plenty of misconception since many believe one needs to be completely incapacitated to get the benefits. This is not true. However, medical proof is needed that the veteran or spouse does indeed require assistance for daily tasks. 

The entire procedure for application can be lengthy and arduous, as testified by those who have similar experiences. Sad as it may, but even the forms provided can be confusing to fill out. Several documents are also required such as income verifications, insurance policies, marriage certificates (for those with spouses), proof of living and caregiving expenses, income tax returns, and medical examination papers. Even so, the Veteran's Administration – the organization in charge of accepting and approving petitions – might request more paperwork. 

Need for an Elder Law attorney

During this long and tiring process, the guidance and services of a skilled elder law attorney can be of much help. It's good to hire someone with years of experience and whose practice focuses solely on elder laws and its aspects. 

His knowledge isn't only useful during the application, but even more for preparing all the necessary forms. Since each veteran situation is different, an elder law lawyer's expertise will come in very handy; especially for sensitive issues. He will act as a medium between the VA and the veteran to ensure that the procedure will be successful. 

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