If you are a wartime veteran who has 90 days of active duty, one day of that time beginning or ending during a period of war, you may be eligible for Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits. A surviving spouse who was married at the time of the veteran’s death may also be eligible for these benefits. There are both medical and financial qualifications that determine eligibility. Our veterans aid & attendance attorneys can explain what you need to know in order to avoid making mistakes with your application.
How does a Veteran qualify for Aid & Attendance benefits?
In order to meet the medical qualifications and be eligible for Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits, you must be able to show that you require the assistance of another individual in performing daily tasks for yourself. That includes eating, dressing, grooming, etc. Eligible veterans or spouses who are blind, nursing home patients with a mental or physical incapacity, and assisted living residents typically qualify for these benefits, as well. Much like other types of government benefits, eligibility for these benefits also requires a limited amount of personal financial resources. Applicants for Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits can have no more than $80,000 in assets excluding their residence and vehicles.
Gather the necessary documents before you apply
When completing the Veterans Aid & Attendance Application, there are certain documents you will need to gather along with the documents the government will require you to complete and submit. Here are examples of documents that you will need to have available:
- Discharge/Separation Papers (DD-214).
- Copy of Marriage Certificate and any other marital information.
- Copy of the Death Certificate (for surviving spouses only)
- Copy of current Social Security Award Letter
- Net Worth information
- Proof of income
- Proof of insurance premiums, medications, medical bills or any other medical expenses that are not reimbursed by insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
- Court order of guardian appointment (if the guardian of the veteran or surviving spouse)
- Physician statement regarding medical condition
- Nursing Home Status Statement
- Banking information for Direct Deposit of benefit payments
- Employment history (unless you are over 65)
- List of all doctors and hospitals visited in the last year.
Required Veterans Aid & Attendance Forms
Once you have compiled your required documents and other information you may need, the next step is to complete the required forms and submit your application. Veterans must obtain and complete VA Form 21-527EZ (For Veterans) and spouses must complete VA Form 21-534EZ (For Spouses). You should follow the instructions on these forms but if you need assistance, you can contact the Veterans Administration in your area or one of our Huntersville veterans aid and attendance attorneys.
Submitting the application by mail
Once you have completely prepared all of your application materials and gathered your supporting documentation, you can mail your application to the processing center for your state. Our Huntersville veterans aid and attendance attorneys strongly recommended that you mail the application and other materials by Certified Mail and request a “Return Receipt” so you can maintain a record that your application was received. The address for the submitting your application for Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits in North Carolina is:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
Attention: Philadelphia Pension Center
PO Box 5206
Janesville, WI 53547-5206
The next step after applying for Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits
The most important thing our Huntersville veterans aid and attendance attorneys want you to remember is that every individual’s application is unique and may have its own set of complications. In addition to that, each processing center is not the same. Some may be more efficient in handling claims than others. If any of the required information is missing from your application, the processing of your application will be impacted. Usually, it takes between 8 to 10 months for applications to be processed. Once the process is completed you will receive a determination letter.
You can request expedited processing for older applicants
If you are applying for Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits and you are age 90 or older, you can request that the application process is expedited. There are regulations established by the Veterans Administration’s regulations that say applications for benefits for a veteran or widow age 90 or older are to be given priority. In order to request this expedited process, you can simply submit a cover letter stating that request along with your application.
Requesting the appointment of a fiduciary
In certain situations, a loved one wants to serve as the fiduciary for a veteran or a veteran’s surviving spouse. However, the Veterans Administration does not recognize powers of attorney so, instead, a fiduciary needs to be appointed. In order to be approved as a fiduciary, the Veterans Administration must make a determination of your fitness for handling the financial affairs of the applicant based on their established guidelines. If you have questions about this process or any other benefits questions, discuss your situation with our Huntersville veterans aid and attendance attorneys.
Join us for a free seminar today! If you have questions regarding veterans aid and attendance benefits or any other elder law matters, please contact the experienced attorneys at The Potter Law Firm for a consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us at (704) 944-3245 in the Charlotte or Huntersville, NC areas or for individuals in Kentucky at (606) 324-5516 (Ashland, KY) or at (859) 372-6655 (Florence, KY).