Income Restrictions for Veteran’s Aid and Attendance

     Aid and Attendance and other VA pensions are income supplements for qualified veterans or their widow(er). Statutes set the amount that the VA can supplement and thus the maximum pension amount. Examples of supplemental maximums are for a single veteran $1,644 per month, for a veteran and a spouse $1,949 per month and for the widow of a veteran with no dependent is $1,056 per month.

     The determination of whether a veteran or widow(er) qualifies and how much supplemental income will be awarded is determined by a two step process. First income from all sources must be totaled for the claimant, spouse and all dependents to determine countable income. Income from a spouse or dependent cannot be excluded if they are part of the veteran’s household. Income includes pension payments, Social Security income and investment income. Infrequent income is estimated and divided among the 12 months.

     Second unreimbursed medical expenses paid by the claimant reduces the countable income. Generally if the medical expense can be claimed as a deduction for federal income taxes (if over 7.5% of AGI) it can be used to reduce countable income. The largest payments, and thus most used, to reduce countable income are costs of home health care, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities. If a veteran’s family or widow(er)’s income after deductions falls below the maximum pension amount then the veteran’s family or widow(er) is eligible to receive supplemental income. The claimant can receive the difference between the maximum pension amount and the income after deductions, but not lower than zero. For example a veteran and his spouse with a total income before deductions of $2,000 per month and home health care and other medical costs of $1500 per month would be entitled to supplemental income of $1449 per month.

     Obviously there are many different issues that can arise based on individual circumstances. I hope this article and previous articles have helped explain some of the issues involved in considering VA benefits.