ESPECIALLY FOR SENIORS: VA offers Aid and Attendance help

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We’re getting close to Veterans Day, Nov. 11, and the memories it conjures up. Like others in my age group, I remember a time when young people dropped out of school to join the “service” and for many who graduated, going in the service was more common than going to college. Sometimes it seems as though life has been punctuated by war.

Thoughts of Veterans Day remind us of a column written here quite some time ago about a veterans benefit called Aid and Attendance. That column prompted many phone calls and it may be timely to remind folks about help available but largely unknown.

The following information is from the Veterans Administration website. We’re sure any of the Veteran Support Officers can help those who may be interested.

Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to Pension.

Since Aid and Attendance and Housebound allowances increase the pension amount, people who are not eligible for a basic pension due to excessive income may be eligible for pension at these increased rates. A veteran or surviving spouse may not receive Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time.

The Aid and Attendance increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount if you meet one of the following conditions:

You require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment

You are bedridden, in that your disability or disabilities requires that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment

You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity

Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less

The increased monthly pension amount under the Housebound category may be added to your monthly pension amount when you are substantially confined to your immediate premises because of permanent disability.

For more information about these benefits, contact your VA Regional Office.

Kay Soldier welcomes reader ideas for column topics of interest to seniors. She can be reached by email at kso48@aol.com, or write to 114 Tandberg Trail, Windham, ME 04062.

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