Veterans Benefits

Q: What are Non-Service Connected Veterans Benefits?

A: The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides patient care and federal benefits to veterans and their dependents.

Q: What is A & A?

A:  Aid and Attendance (A&A) is a non-service connected pension benefit program. It reimburses for medical costs not covered by insurance or other means. The benefit is received on the first day of the month and is a non-taxable benefit. The maximum monthly benefits for 2011 are as follows:

  • Single veteran: $1,644.00
  • Married Veteran with non Veteran spouse: $1,949.00
  • Veteran spouses: $2,581.00
  • Surviving Spouse of a qualified Veteran: $1,056.00

 

In general, and subject to other VA rules, the claimant cannot have more than $80,000 in countable assts, excluding their home and one car. The VA determines the amount of the benefit, based on medical costs relative to income and other insurance and cost factors.

Q: What are the eligibility requirements?

A: Generally, the perquisite for benefits is discharge from active military service during a wartime period under other than dishonorable conditions. Active service is defined as full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, Environmental Science Services Administration or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or its predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey.

Q: Are benefits available for a veteran’s adult dependent child?

A: Yes, benefits are available if the VA determines that the veteran’s adult child is a dependant.   The VA uses the language “helpless child” to define an adult dependent, who prior to reaching age 18, becomes permanently incapable of self-support.  The Veteran may be able to receive an increased pension payment, or the dependent child could receive survivor benefits such as those affiliated with the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP).  SBP will pay up to 55 percent of the veteran’s dependent child based on the veteran paying a monthly contribution for the dependent child.  Alternatively, a disabled child over age 18 can be eligible for Commissary and Exchange privileges as well as Tricare health care if designated as an incapacitated dependent.

Q: What if the veteran was injured during military service?

A: Through the Department of Defense, Veterans are usually eligible to receive compensation for disabilities if the injury or illness was a product of military service or made worse by military service. There are some circumstances where the VA may presume that current disabilities were caused by service, without the Veteran having to present evidence for the claim such as if the Veteran was exposed certain herbicides while serving in Vietnam.