Taking care of an aging relative who requires respite care can be overwhelming for those who are not accustomed, especially with regards to cost. However, there may be veterans benefits for assisted living that you can take advantage of.
Does The Department of Veteran Affairs Offer Veterans Benefits for Assisted Living?
Yes, there are cases where this department may provide help to those seeking assisted living services. These services might even extend to surviving spouses on top of their standard pension, but not everyone qualifies.
Veterans who are part of the Veterans Health Administration may fill out an application to reside within a veteran-based living community. These associations provide the same care services which are found in civilian assisted communities. The Veterans Health Administration will also help those who wish to remain independent.
How Do You Qualify?
To qualify for these benefits, you must first serve in the U.S. Armed forces and retire with an honorable discharge. This will make you as well as your surviving spouse eligible for the Veterans Affairs pension and those who require additional living assistance may be qualified for extra monthly payments beyond the standard pension amount. These additional monthly payments are called Aid and Attendance advantages and might be applied to assisted living fees, which include help involving bathing, feeding, dressing, and mobility.
However, it is important to bear in mind that Veteran Affairs will not directly cover the assisted living costs for veterans. Rather, you’d take the extra money which is applied to the pension to then cover your own expenses in any manner you choose. As of 2021, the average monthly cost for assisted living in the U.S. is approximately $4300 but can be more or less depending on the types of care that are needed as well as the location and size of the residence. Aside from serving as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and getting an honorable discharge, other things that you’ll need to qualify for these benefits include:
- You must be either permanently disabled or 65+ years of age
- You must serve a minimum of ninety days’ worth of active duty, with at least one day occurring during wartime
- Your assets and monthly income must be lower than $130,773
Those that want additional assistance and aid must meet the following healthcare requirements:
- You require the assistance of a second party for daily tasks like dressing or bathing
- You’re bedridden
- You’re currently in the nursing community, because of either a physical or mental incapacity like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
- You have certain eyesight limitations
For spouses to qualify, they must be the widows of veterans who have not remarried. The amount that veterans or their spouses will receive depends on the income for Veteran Affairs purposes. This is essentially the combined income of a spouse and applicant minus their medical care un-reimbursement cost, so long as this expense is not higher than five percent of their income.