Aid and Attendance Pension for Military Veterans or Their Widowed Spouses

Did you know the VA will help pay for the costs of assisted living or board and care for a Veteran, Veteran's Spouse, or a Widowed Spouse of a Veteran? The amount of money that the VA pays is determined by income versus expenses ....whether it's a Veteran, a Couple, or a Widowed Spouse of a Veteran......AND, this money is in addition to your social security or other income......AND, it is TAX FREE from the Federal Government!

                                                                                           VA Aid and Attendance
Pension Benefits

VA Non-Service Connected Disability Pension Benefits.

The VA Aid & Attendance & Housebound Pension is designed to provide qualified veterans and their un-remarried surviving spouses with financial benefits outside of the traditional VA residential system. This pension benefit, which was established in 1952 under title 38USC, provides a direct, tax free monthly pension to help defray the cost of long-term care.

2017 Maximum Benefit Amounts
  Monthly   Annually
Two Veterans / Spouses $2,748 Two Veterans / Spouses $32,976
Married Veteran* $2,120 Married Veteran $24,648
Single Veteran $1,788 Single Veteran $20,748
Surviving Spouse $1,149 Surviving Spouse $13,356
* Assuming the veteran needs care. If only the spouse needs care, a married veteran could qualify for up to $1,360 monthly.

Eligibility Requirements:

Must be 65 years old and/or unemployable.
Must have an Honorable or General discharge (any other than Dishonorable discharge).
Must have served at least 90 days of active Federal duty with at least one day during an official period of conflict.
Must have a medical necessity requiring care
Must meet income and countable asset criteria established by the VA* 


General Information about VA Aid and Attendance


  • What is Aid & Attendance?  Benefits for veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in bathing, dressing, meal preparation, medication monitoring or other various activities of daily living.  This benefit is available to individuals who reside in assisted living communities, personal care homes, skilled nursing facilities and those receiving personal in-home care.


  • How can these benefits help someone?  Aid and Attendance can help pay for care in the home, skilled nursing facility, personal care home or an assisted living community.   


  • Who is Eligible?  Any War Veteran with 90 days of active duty with at least one day during active War time.   A surviving spouse of a War Veteran may be eligible if married at the time of death.  The individual must qualify both medically and financially.   Assets cannot exceed $80K however, many things, including their home, vehicle, annuities, pre-paid funeral expenses and many other are not included in this number.  For further information regarding financial qualifications, please seek the professional advice of an attorney or financial planner.   


  • Eligible dates are:



    • 5/9/1916-11/11/1918


    • 12/07/1941-12/31/1946


    • 6/27/1950-1/31/1955


    • SPECIAL EXCEPTION: 2/28/1961-8/5/1964 if you were serving within the Country of Vietnam only


    • 8/5/1964-5/7/1975


    • 8/20/1990-present



  • How do I apply for this benefit?  There are several ways to apply for this benefit.   There are some communities that will assist you in applying or refer you to a professional, who will complete the documentation for you.  The name and contact information of a company that specializes in this process is listed below.  You can do the research on the program yourself and make the application.  You may also apply by contacting your Regional Veteran’s Administration Office.  To locate the closest regional office to you, visit the VA website at .


  • How quickly would I receive the benefit?  This is determined by the accuracy of the initial application.  The average process takes between 3-6 months.  However, the VA does pay retroactively from the date of application.  The resident is paid directly from the VA.  This program financially assists the resident with paying their monthly rent, care and/or services.


Remember...You don't have to be injured in a war or be retired from the Military in order to qualify for this money. You just have to be a veteran or a widowed spouse of a Veteran (must have been legally married at the time of the veteran’s death and never remarried) who had an Honorable Discharge...and were in the Military during a time of war. You don't have to serve in a war zone or be part of combat. You just need to have served during official war time. Yes, the Gulf War is considered a REAL war, and this time is included also. Vietnam was not officially declared until 1966, but this Pension allows you to go back 5 years to 1961 if you were serving in Vietnam because we were actually fighting at that time. (This is the only exception.)

This above email is for informational purposes only.  We cannot guarantee eligibility.  You must research this benefit to make sure you clearly understand the options it offers and if you are eligible for this program.  The information above is subject to change without notice and it does not come with a guarantee against errors.


Here is a local contact you can call about the program:


Mary Carrington

MC Senior Administrative & Document Assistance

619-742-7886 (San Diego County)