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Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Pension Checklist

For senior veterans struggling with the costs of everyday care, the aid and attendance benefit can seem like a lifesaver. Depending on your income and costs (and those of your spouse), the aid and attendance pension could increase your monthly income by up to $2,085.

Of course there can sometimes seem to be a gulf between knowing something should be available to you and actually getting it. There are particular qualifications required and paperwork that must be completed and submitted before a senior veteran can be approved for the veterans aid and attendance benefit.

That shouldn't stop you. It's believed that 95% of the veterans eligible for the pension aren't taking advantage of it.

Make use of our Veteran’s Aid and Attendance glossary and the checklist below to help you better navigate the process and claim the money you deserve.

Am I Eligible for the Veteran's Aid and Attendance Pension?

Use this free Aid and Attendance calculator to find out if you or loved one may be eligible. Or use our checklist below.

Check off the following items that apply:

  1. I am a veteran, or my spouse is.
  2. I had at least 90 days of active duty during a wartime. (You can see what constitutes a wartime here, if you're not sure.)
  3. I need the help of another person to complete basic daily tasks such as eating, dressing, bathing, and going to the bathroom.
  4. I am bedridden due to a disability.
  5. I live in a nursing home, an assisted living facility, or use in-home care.
  6. My income, when combined with that of my spouse (if applicable) is at or under the Maximum Allowable Pension Rate (MAPR). To find out what the MAPR is for you, scroll down on this page to the "Pension -- Maximum Allowable Pension Rates 2014" section near the bottom of the page.

If you checked yes to 1, 2, 6 and at least one of the others, you may be eligible.

Do be aware that this checklist won't 100% determine eligibility, it's just meant to help provide a clear idea of whether it's worth spending the time required to apply for the aid and attendance pension.

What Do I Need to Apply for the Veteran's Aid and Attendance Pension?

For the Department of Veterans Affairs to know for sure that you should be awarded the pension, you have to provide the proper documentation and complete the required steps.

Here is a complete list of documents, including the printable government forms, to apply for Aid and Attendance. Or use our checklist below.

1. Collect the following documents.

  • Your discharge papers (DD-214)
  • Copy of your social security award letter
  • Proof of income from all other applicable sources. This could include your retirement income, other pensions, and investments.
  • Documents that show your net worth, such as statements from your bank accounts and any other financial accounts you have.
  • Proof of all regular medical costs, such as insurance payments and medical bills.
  • A voided check or the banking details needed to set up direct deposit for your A&A payments.
  • A list of the doctors visited in the last year.

In certain cases, you may also need to collect the following:

  • Copy of marriage certificate
  • Copy of death certificate (if the deceased spouse was the veteran)
  • A certified copy of the court order if you're the court-appointed guardian of a veteran.

2. Get a check-up, and present your doctor with this form.

You'll need proof from a physician that you do have the needs that provide eligibility for the pension. Add the Physician's Statement form to the stack of other documents you've collected.

3. Fill out the Veterans Application for Pension and Compensation.

Make sure to read over the instructions on the form to ensure you follow all the correct steps when submitting it.

4. Make a copy of everything.

Now that you've put in the work and time to collect all this information, you don't want to risk it getting lost in the mail! Put your copy somewhere safe where you'll remember where it is. If your memory's not always reliable, ask someone you trust to hold onto it for you.

5. Send your application to one of the addresses listed at the bottom of the page here.

Once you've got all the steps checked off, the hard part is done and it's just a waiting game. If the VA determines that you do qualify for the pension, the convenience and added comfort that comes with that extra income will make all the trouble worth it.

To download a printable version of this checklist, please click here.