Is There Extra V.A. Help for Veterans Who Are Housebound or Can't Care for Themselves?

2 answers | Last updated: Nov 07, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Is there extra V.A. help for veterans who are housebound or can't care for themselves?


Expert Answers

A low-income veteran with wartime service who is unable to care for himself or is disabled and housebound might be eligible for V.A. Aid & Attendance (A&A) or Housebound benefits, which can be paid in addition to a low-income, wartime veteran's basic pension. A veteran must qualify for a low-income veteran's basic pension in order to also get either A&A or Housebound benefits. A veteran can receive either A&A benefits or Housebound benefits, but not both at the same time.

How to determine eligibility. A veteran eligible for a low-income pension may also be eligible for A&A benefits if at least one of the following conditions applies:

  • The veteran requires assistance from another person to perform activities of daily living (ADLs): bathing, eating, dressing, using the toilet, getting in and out of a bed or chair, walking, taking medication.

  • The veteran is bedridden, meaning that his condition requires that he remain in bed other than during prescribed convalescence or treatment.

  • The veteran resides in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity.

  • The veteran is blind (corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less, in both eyes). A veteran eligible for a low-income pension may also be eligible for Housebound benefits if at least one of the following conditions applies:

  • The veteran has a single, permanent 100 percent disability (as determined by V.A. disability rules) and is therefore substantially and permanently confined to his residence.

  • The veteran has a single, permanent 100 percent disability, plus another disability or disabilities evaluated by the V.A. as 60 percent or more disabling.

How to apply. A veteran applies for A&A or Housebound benefits at the regional office that processes the veteran's pension benefits. If the veteran is just beginning the low-income pension application process, he can apply for the basic pension as well as A&A or Housebound benefits at any V.A. regional office. For more information on applying for low-income V.A. pension benefits, see Does the V.A. have a pension for senior or disabled low-income veterans?.


Community Answers

Deborah jean answered...

I think for a better understanding of this pension www.veteranaid.org should be a resource for additional insights. Most veterans and their families are of the opinion that in order to qualify for a pension with the VA the vet had to be injured while in service. That is not the case with with pension. It is not a disability compensation. The VA uses the term "disabled", which leaves people to think they would not qualify. The VA classifies every veteran age 65 or older to be permanetly and totally disabled regardless of how able-bodied they may be.