Houston Home Care News
By William Hardy
The new benefit is NOT the Aid and Attendance benefit, but part of the Non-Service Connected Disability Pension Benefit program.
Veteran with sick spouse – While the veteran has to be deceased for a surviving spouse to qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit, the VA will now allow claims by the veteran for the disability pension benefit if the medical costs of the spouse depletes their combined monthly income. The veteran would then be entitled to file a claim as a “Veteran with a sick spouse” and would be eligible for up to $1,290 a month.
Some Frequently Asked Questions about the Healthy Veteran with Sick Spouse Pension Benefit:
Is every Veteran with a sick spouse eligible to receive this benefit?
Eligibility is determined based on service during a declared war period, income limitations and liquid assets.
What are the costs associated with applying for this benefit?
As a Veteran with a sick spouse, there are no costs associated with applying for the Veteran’s Financial Assistance program.
What are declared periods of war?
To be eligible for the pension benefit, a veteran must have served at least 90 days in the military with at least 1 day served during one of the following declared periods of war:
- WWI April 6, 1917 through November 11, 1918
- WWII December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946
- Korea June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955
- Vietnam August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975
- Gulf War August 2, 1990 through a date to be set by law
- The veteran must have also been honorably discharged.
Do I have to go to a VA physician to be covered by the pension benefits?
No, you can continue to use your own physician.
Can I apply for VA Pension Benefits on my own?
Yes, however many veterans with a sick spouse have experienced the frustration and lack of quick response from the Veterans Administration. This happens because the application is incomplete, does not qualify as submitted, lacks critical documentation, or has confusing and contradictory information. The application may then sit for extended periods while waiting for the required or corrected items. Or, it is just simply denied.
There are professionals that specialize in assisting Veterans with the application process. There should not be any charge for these services.