Nick Y. Shimoda, P.C.
186 Belmont Dr
Dothan, AL 36305

VETERANS PENSION BENEFITS

Q: Are there Veterans Benefits that can help me pay for assisted living and/or nursing home costs?

A: Yes. There is a federal assistance program offering a monthly payment from the Department of Veterans Affairs designed to provide care for people who are disabled or frail and might have trouble living on their own. The money can be used to pay assisted living bills, home health care, or nursing home expenses. Anyone on this type of benefit automatically qualifies for VA health care benefits.

Q: Am I eligible to receive these VA Benefits?

  1. A: You must pass the Veteran status requirements:
    1. If you served prior to September 1 ,1980, you must have served at least 90 days of continuous active duty;
    2. If you served after September1, 1980, you must have served 24 months of continuous active duty;
    3. You must have served a minimum of one day of wartime; and
    4. Your discharge must be other than dishonorable.

  2. You must pass the "Needs" tests:
    1. You must pass the monthly income test; and
    2. You must pass the minimum asset test.

  3. Once you pass tests (1) and (2) above, the VA will determine whether you qualify for pension due to disability. There are three levels of benefit based upon disability:
    1. Improved Pension: You can receive "Improved Pension" if you are permanently and totally disabled. You are automatically considered permanently and totally disabled if you are over the age of 65, are in a nursing home, or have been determined disabled by the Social Security Administration. If you are not automatically considered permanently and totally disabled, you must show you are unemployable and this condition will last the remainder of your life.
    2. Improved Pension Plus Housebound Allowance: You can receive an additional "Housebound Allowance" if you can prove you "substantially confined to the home or immediate premises due to a disability which is reasonably certain will last your lifetime."
    3. Improved Pension and Aid and Attendance: You can automatically receive additional "Aid and Attendance" if you are in a nursing home or blind. If you are not in a nursing home or blind, you must prove that you have a substantial daily need for assistance with the activities of daily living.

Q: Are there any VA benefits for a veteran's surviving spouse or dependent children?

A: Yes. The VA provides benefits for the surviving spouse or dependent children of veterans under certain circumstance.

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