VA Pension: Health or Disability Requirement
VA Pension: Health or Disability Requirement
We have discussed the first requirement which is the military service of the veteran.
The second requirement has to do with our health or disability.
(You can find the third requirement of financial — income and assets — in our final article in this series on the VA Pension or Aid and Attendance).
We do have to keep in mind that the VA Pension is different than if it’s a service-related injury, and sometimes they use the same words or terms but they have completely different meanings.
We’re just going to stay focused on the VA Pension.
We have to be considered 100% disabled.
The VA says if we’re 65 or older then we are 100% disabled, for this benefit only.
Then we start looking at it in more detail.
Are we homebound or “housebound?”
That does not mean that we are bedridden.
What it means is we cannot just say, “Today I want to get up and I want to go to the grocery store,” or “I want to go to the doctor.”
We’re not able to do that on our own.
We need help to be able to leave the house or to go drive somewhere.
This is one aspect as we look at the disability or health requirement.
Do we need the “aid and attendance” of someone else?
This is the most common and where this this benefit is really used.
That’s why sometimes this whole benefit is called Aid and Attendance.
We’re looking at the activities of daily living.
Do we need help in the activities of daily living?
Do we need somebody to aid us or to attend to us in those activities?
What does that mean?
Let’s look at that in a little more detail.
Here’s a list of some of the activities of daily living.
This is not an exhaustive list, but this is normally what we’re looking at.
Do we need help with bathing?
Do we need help with taking a shower?
- Going to the bathroom
Is that something we can completely do on our own, or do we need somebody to provide help to us with that?
Does the veteran or surviving spouse need to wear special clothes because of loss of control or simply because of health issues they are unable to make it to the bathroom in time?
This does not mean we’re helpless.
However, maybe because of shoulder injuries or knee injuries or maybe we have a broken hip and we are just not able to completely dress ourselves.
We need somebody to help us with dressing.
It’s the same thing with feeding, maybe because of injuries to our arms, we have difficulty feeding ourselves.
I have one client whose arms are so injured because of stroke and other issues, he cannot physically get the food to his mouth.
Once it’s in his mouth, he’s fine chewing it.
We have other folks that maybe their arms are fine but they have difficulty in swallowing, so the food has to be prepared a certain way.
- Ability to move freely
Can the veteran or the spouse just get up and walk and go wherever they want to go, or is this something where they go for 10 or 20 steps and then they have to take a break because they’re exhausted?
Can they drive?
These are things that we’re looking at.
Do we need help with our ability to move or to “transfer?”
Can you get out of a chair?
Sit down on the toilet?
Can you get up off a toilet?
Things of that nature.
- Being safe in the environment
This is the catch-all or the overarching question.
Can the veteran be safe in his environment without help? We might have somebody who can go to the bathroom, dress themselves and feed themselves, but because of perhaps severe Alzheimer’s or dementia, they’re just not able to be safe by themselves.
They need somebody there because they would wander out or they would just open the door to anybody and let anybody come in and do whatever they wanted.
Can they be safe in their environment?
Stated another way, do they need a protective environment?
This is where we have pretty constant care whether that’s family or sitters, or maybe we’re in an assisted living facility to provide that protective environment.
In our next article let’s look at the third requirement which is the financial requirement (income and assets)….
If you have questions about this benefit then we encourage you to investigate it.
You can do so through this website (see links below) or you can call us at 205-879-2447 to set up a scheduled call or to receive our free book entitled:
How to Avoid Being Forced into a Nursing Home: Discover 5 Simple Steps to Using a Little Known VA Benefit (VA Pension or Aid and Attendance) to Stay in Your Home and Stay Out of a Nursing Home
If you have any questions, feel free to get contact us.
You can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447.
Or, if you prefer, you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you soon.
We look forward to talking with you.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day!
Additional Resources Related To VA Pension:
- FAQ on Aid and Attendance for Alabama Veterans
- VA Aid & Attendance Resources:
- Definitions of Commonly Used Legal Words In VA Pension (Aid & Attendance) Cases
- Surviving Spouses Of Veterans Are Eligible Even If Veteran Never Applied For VA Pension
- How Do You Get Your DD214 Papers Showing Dates of Service and Discharge Type
- Why Would I Ever Move Assets Into A Trust If I’m Healthy Now?
- Should I Apply for VA Pension Benefits Right After Transferring Assets?