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Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 09/24/09
A friend of mine was recently contacted by a company that wanted her to attend a seminar. The subject of the seminar had to do with a benefit to veterans called the Veteran's Aid and Assistance Pension program.

She went to the seminar (which was held by a private company, not the Veteran's Aid and Assistance program itself.) The speaker there indicated that he felt he could help get her husband (a disabled veteran) into this program, even if her family's assets were over the qualifying limit for eligibility.

My friend was a bit skeptical and contacted the Veteran's Aid organization itself ( Their representative suggested being aware that if the person/company hosting the seminar was trying to sell some investments, that they would likely have their own best interests at heart.

However, the Veteran's Aid and Assistance pension itself appears to be a real, if little-known, benefit available to qualifying veterans.

Just wondering if anyone out there has ever heard of this benefit and has qualified for it. If so, perhaps you have additional information that could benefit others and/or save them some time.

Best wishes.

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Name: Cindy
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Date: 09/24/2009
Time: 06:31 AM


Yes, Aid and Attendance is a legitimate benefit for war-time veterans or their surviving spouses. There are several physical and financial requirements for qualification, including having 90 days of active military service with at least one day of service during a period of war; must be at least age 65, or if under 65, completely disabled; must need help with basic everyday living tasks such as eating, dressing, bathing, etc.; and must have limited assets. If the person hosting the seminar wants to charge attendees for filling out eligibility paperwork, it's not really necessary; the forms can be downloaded by anyone from and completed at no cost. However, it's important to make sure they are filled out correctly; if not, it could cause a significant delay in the receipt of benefits. I would recommend the assistance of an elder law attorney, trust officer, or certified financial planner if you're not comfortable with completing the paperwork on your own. The Department of Veterans Affairs or your local Vet Center (if you have one) should also assist you free of charge (but they can sometimes be difficult to work with.) To find the office closest to you, call (800) 827-1000. Hope that helps--good luck!

Name: George
Location: Delray Beach
Date: 09/24/2009
Time: 07:43 AM


I'm curious about this too

Name: Millie
Location: Fairfax, Virginia
Date: 09/26/2009
Time: 06:04 PM


Enclosed is a link from the VA. It contains a lot of information. My husband received aid and attendant care for approximately 20 years. He was catastrophic disabled. I canít praise the VA enough for everything they did for us. You have to be a strong advocate but it is well worth it. My husband passed away this past March. Good luck and God Bless.

Name: Jane
Location: Kansas City
Date: 09/28/2009
Time: 07:31 AM


This is my new cause: there are so many veterans who could use this benefit. Not to mention the caregiving spouses who need the help. I have been suggesting that families call the local VFW to see if there is someone who can assist in filling out the paperwork. It is not difficult but can be daunting for someone under a lot of stress.

Name: Sue
Location: South Florida
Date: 09/28/2009
Time: 01:21 PM


I obtained these benefits for my widowed Mom in 2003--took over 7 mo. of my diligent activity and fighting the callous VA contact and system here; had success (by chance) with a female officer when I broke down in her office. they don't really want to give it to you. they do pay you retroactively for the long time it takes to get approved. keep pushing--my Dad "earned" it for Ma.


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