VA Pension with Aid and Attendance is a pension for wartime veterans and their surviving spouses. The wartime periods for the seniors I’m working with primarily include World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The Gulf War, which is still going on, also qualifies as a wartime period, but those are younger folks that I don’t typically see in my practice.
If you served in a wartime—whether you were here behind a desk or on a battlefield—Congress has provided a long-term care benefit for you called Aid and Attendance. It’s structured in the form of a pension where they pay you money to help cover your care as you get older and need assistance in two activities of daily living or have cognitive impairment that requires a protective environment (meaning you can’t live alone anymore). The activities of daily living include the abilities to feed yourself, dress yourself, bathe yourself, move around without assistance, and go to the bathroom without suffering incontinence or toileting issues. You must perform these five activities on a daily basis to have a healthy living environment.
Though this pension is riddled with rules and income/asset requirements, it’s intended to help wartime veterans, or the spouses of wartime veterans who have survived them, with their activities of daily living. The maximum benefit is about $2,200 a month for a married veteran and about half of that for the surviving spouse of a married veteran, so it’s not a lot of money. Sometimes, though, it can make the difference in being able to afford that little bit of extra care you need as you get older.
If My Application Was Denied, Can I Appeal or Should I Reapply?
If your application was denied, let me see why you got denied so that I can determine whether it’s correctible or not. If it is, we’ll reapply and get you Aid and Attendance. In many instances, not only can I get you the benefit, I can get it retroactive back to the date of your original application, as long as we do that within a year of your denial. If it’s been over a year since you’ve been denied, we do have to start over.
I’ve been an accredited attorney with the VA since 2012, and during that time, I’ve perfected my practice around this particular benefit. I’m seen as the go-to person in Central Arkansas for this benefit thanks to my reputation of being able to get people qualified. Over the course of time, so far I’ve been approved for over 200 cases that I have personally worked on and have only had three denials. So, I understand this benefit like the back of my hand, and I can tell you whether or not I can get you this benefit on the front-end, with almost certainty that I will get it for you.
I would not take a case if I didn’t think I could win. There’s no point in paying me to do something I know you’re not going to qualify for, because I understand the rules. When people get denied, it’s often because they didn’t know how to get through the system when it’s so riddled with red tape. If you don’t dot your ”I”, if you don’t cross your ”t”, if you don’t give them the information they want or need, they will deny you. And it doesn’t mean that you’re not eligible or that you don’t qualify; it’s because you didn’t get through the system. This system will chew you up and spit you out.
Getting VA Aid and Attendance is kind of like trying to apply for Medicaid. If you don’t know the rules, if you don’t know how to fill out the forms, you will go bug-eyed trying to do it and then wonder why you didn’t get it in the end. I have had many clients come to me after they’ve been denied. I file a supplemental claim, I take it back to the VA, and I get them approved because there’s a madness to this method about getting people through the system.
Will the Reason I Was Denied My VA Benefits Be Made Clear in the Denial Letter?
The VA will tell you why you’re denied, although it may not be the absolute reason. You probably just didn’t provide them the right information or get back to them in time or something similar pertaining to the red tape. It may have nothing to do with the eligibility criteria.
After reviewing your denial letter and application, I can give you a clear reason why you were denied. I know what you have to do to prove your eligibility, so seeing what you’ve given them or not given them (in addition to what the denial letter says) will be enough to determine the reason for your denial.