What Are the Different Types of Assisted Living for Veterans?

Marlene Garcia

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) offers three programs aimed at assisted living for veterans, which help former military personnel who served during wartime. The aid and attendant benefit programs offer financial assistance to veterans or spouses of vets who are at least 65 years old. Similar programs cover people in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, housebound individuals, and anyone over 65, even if his or her health is good.

Assisted living facilities typically offer residents more independence than a nursing home.
Assisted living facilities typically offer residents more independence than a nursing home.

The basic assisted living for veterans benefit deems any veteran or spouse over the age of 65 permanently disabled, despite physical condition. These people might be entitled to a monthly benefit if their income falls below a designated level. Income levels do not include the value of a home or vehicle, and medical expenses can be deducted from total annual income, including the cost of a nursing home.

A housebound benefit is the second level of a plan for assisted living for veterans. It provides financial help for vets or spouses of vets who need daily help at home. This includes assistance with bathing, dressing, eating, or preparing meals. A person who only needs help with some of these tasks may still qualify for the aid. Eligibility includes care provided by family members or an outside agency.

Nursing home or assisted living facility residents might qualify for aid and attendant benefits. This assisted living benefit for veterans covers people physically or mentally unable to live alone. A higher compensation is generally awarded to vets or spouses who fall into this category. The V.A. generally provides this benefit to a person who owns assets below a set amount.

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These assisted living for veterans benefits apply to any war veteran who served at least 90 consecutive days in the military during wartime. It is not required that he or she actually served in a combat zone. Wartime covers World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam era, and the Persian Gulf War.

Applications are available online or from a V.A. office. It generally takes four to six months to process an application seeking assisted living for veterans' aid. The V.A. gives priority to veterans or spouses over the age of 70 and typically expedites those applications. Copies of military separation documents and a doctor’s statement showing the applicant needs assistance are required with the application. A legal guardian may fill out paperwork for incompetent applicants.

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