What are Aid & Attendance benefits?
Aid and Attendance benefits are an enhanced or special monthly pension benefit paid in addition to a basic pension.
Who can receive Aid & Attendance benefits?
Eligible war-time Veterans and/or the spouse of a deceased eligible war-time Veteran can receive Aid & Attendance benefits. Qualifying Veterans may also receive benefits to help care for a sick spouse. There are income and asset eligibility limits. The Veteran must first establish eligibility for the basic VA pension, but Aid & Attendance has a higher income limit. The Veteran must also:
- Require the aid of another person in order to perform at least 2 activities of daily living (i.e. bathing, feeding, and dressing), or
- Is bedridden, and his or her disability requires remaining in bed, or
- Be a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity, or
- Has corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less in both eyes or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.
What are service-connected compensation benefits?
Service-connected compensation benefits are monthly benefits for Veterans who have been disabled by an injury or disease that was incurred or aggravated by active service while in the line of duty. Benefits are based on the severity of the disability and could range between 10% and 100%.
Who is eligible for service-connected compensation benefits?
A Veteran may be eligible if he or she:
- Is permanently and totally disabled so that gainful employment is not possible, and
- Has served 90 continuous days or more on active duty and served at least 1 of those days during a period of war, and
- Meets the income and asset eligibility requirements.
Can I receive Social Security and Veteran benefits?
Your Social Security disability or retirement benefits will not be reduced if you also receive service-connected compensation benefits from the VA. However, if you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your VA benefits are considered income, which may make you ineligible for SSI benefits.
If you are receiving non-service connected disability pension benefits from the VA, you must report all family income, changes in family income, and changes in household size to the VA. These benefits are reduced dollar for dollar for family income, including Social Security disability and retirement benefits.
How do I apply for Veteran benefits?
Contact your VA Regional Office at (800) 827-1000, or apply online at www.va.gov.
What if I am denied Veteran benefits?
If you disagree with a determination made on your claim, you can appeal the decision to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. To appeal, you must file a timely notice of disagreement with the Veteran Affairs Regional Office. The Regional Office will issue a statement of the case, then you must file a timely appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals. You may want an attorney to represent you.
Where can I get more information about Veteran Benefits?
You can call the Tennessee Veterans Affairs Regional Office at (800) 827-1000 or go to www.benefits.va.gov/nashville. You can also visit field offices in Jackson, located at 225 Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., Room 110, (731) 423-5614, or in Dyersburg, located at 439 W. McGaughey St., (731) 286-8344.
Acknowledgements & Disclaimer: This Fact Sheet was prepared by West Tennessee Legal Services (WTLS) and made possible by Serving Tennessee Seniors-administered by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee at the request of the Chancery Court. WTLS thanks the Tennessee Bar Association for its permission to use The Legal Handbook for Tennessee Seniors (2014 edition) as a primary information source. This publication is supported, in part, by funds provided by the Southwest Area Agency on Aging and Disability, the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The content herein does not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of the Southwest Area Agency on Aging and Disability or any agency of Tennessee or the U.S. government. Fact Sheets are for information only and not intended to replace legal advice. If you are in need of legal help, call WTLS at (800) 372-8346, or seek the help of a private attorney. (Revised 5/2017)