V.A. Aid and Attendance and Housebound Benefits

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What are V.A. Aid and Attendance (A&A) and Housebound benefits?

Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits can be paid to a veteran in addition to his or her monthly V.A. pension benefits. Neither Aid and Attendance nor Housebound benefits can be paid to a veteran unless the veteran is eligible for a V.A. pension.

Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits can also be paid to the survivor of a veteran who's collecting a V.A. Death Pension.

Aid and Attendance benefits can add up to about $700 per month extra to a veteran's V.A. pension benefits, and about $500 per month extra to a survivor's V.A. Death Pension. Housebound benefits can add up to about $200 a month to a veteran's pension benefits, and up to about $150 per month extra to a survivor's V.A. Death Pension.

A veteran or survivor cannot receive both Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits at the same time.

Who's eligible for V.A. Aid and Attendance Benefits?

A veteran who's receiving a V.A. pension, or a survivor who's receiving a V.A. Death Pension, may also be eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits if one or more of these conditions apply to the veteran or survivor:

  • He or she requires regular assistance from another person in order to perform activities of daily living, including bathing, feeding, dressing, using the toilet, getting in and out of bed or chair, using a prosthetic device, and keeping free from injury in his or her daily environment.

  • He or she is bedridden, meaning that a disability keeps him or her in bed except when undergoing prescribed rehabilitation or medical treatment.

  • He or she is a patient in a nursing home, due to mental or physical incapacity.

  • He or she is blind (corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less) in both eyes or has concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.

Who's eligible for V.A. Housebound Benefits?

A veteran who's receiving a V.A. pension, or a survivor receiving a V.A. Death Pension, may also be eligible for Housebound benefits if one or more of these conditions apply to the veteran or survivor:

  • He or she has a single permanent disability evaluated by the V.A. as 100 percent disabling and, due to that disability, the veteran or survivor is permanently and substantially confined to his or her home.

  • He or she has a single permanent disability evaluated by the V.A. as 100 percent disabling and also has another disability or disabilities evaluated as 60 percent or more disabling.

To learn whether you or your loved one are eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits, visit The Senior Veterans Council.

How do I apply for V.A. Aid and Attendance or Housebound Benefits?

A veteran or survivor applies for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits by contacting the V.A. regional office where the veteran filed a claim for a V.A. pension or the survivor filed a claim for V.A. Death Pension. If the veteran or veteran's family doesn't know where the pension claim was filed, or the veteran or survivor is now living in a different region of the country, a request to apply for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits may be made with any V.A. regional office.

What will I need to apply for V.A. Aid and Attendance or Housebound Benefits?

Since eligibility for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits depends on already receiving a V.A. pension or V.A. Death Pension, the veteran or survivor won't need to provide separate evidence of discharge or current income or assets. The veteran or survivor only needs to provide evidence to the V.A. that his or her physical or mental condition meets the standards set out for either benefit. This evidence can include:

  • A report from the veteran's or survivor's primary care physician describing the veteran's or survivor's physical condition and the need for Aid and Attendance, or the nature and extent of the veteran's or survivor's disability and the inability of the veteran or survivor to leave the house without assistance. The report should describe how the veteran's or survivor's physical or mental impairment, loss of coordination, or other conditions affect his or her ability to dress and undress, feed him- or herself, bathe, use the toilet, and get in and out of bed.

  • The veteran's V.A. health system identification number (if the veteran uses V.A. medical care), so that the V.A. can examine the veteran's medical records indicating the nature of his or her condition.

  • A report or description from any home care agency, home care aide, physical therapist, or other agency or person that regularly assists the veteran or survivor indicating how well the veteran or survivor is able to get around and how well he or she can perform the activities of daily living.

Where can I get help applying for V.A. Aid and Attendance or Housebound Benefits?

You can get free assistance with any V.A.-related question or problem by phone or in person through one of the V.A.'s Vet Centers, which are located in every state. You can also get assistance by contacting the V.A.'s Veterans Benefits Administration office nearest you. The V.A. also has a toll-free telephone help line at 800-827-1000.


Joseph L. Matthews

Joseph Matthews is an attorney and the author of numerous books, including Social Security, Medicare, and Government Pensions, Long-Term Care: How to Plan and Pay for It; How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim; and The Lawyer Who Blew up His Desk. See full bio