FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 13, 2014
Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency Veterans Services
Offers “Aid and Assistance” Benefit to Wartime Veterans or
their Surviving Spouses
Wartime veterans or their widows or widowers who have in-home care or who live in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities may be eligible for a special monthly pension benefit called, “Aid and Assistance.”
If military service requirements are met, the Veteran’s Administration (VA) determines eligibility for the Aid and Assistance benefit by adjusting for un-reimbursed medical expenses from the veteran’s or surviving spouse’s total household income. If the remaining income amount falls below the annual income threshold for the Aid and Assistance benefit, the VA pays the difference between the claimant’s household income and the Aid and Assistance threshold. Many elderly veterans and surviving spouses whose incomes are above the Congressionally mandated legal limit for a VA pension may still be eligible for the special monthly Aid and Assistance benefit if they have large medical expenses, including nursing home expenses, for which they do not receive reimbursement.
The basic criteria for the Aid and Assistance benefit includes the inability to feed oneself, to dress and undress without assistance, or to take care of one’s own bodily needs. People who are bedridden or need help to adjust special prosthetic or orthopedic devices may also be eligible, as well as those who have a physical or mental injury or illness that requires regular assistance to protect them from hazards or dangers in their daily environment.
For a wartime veteran or surviving spouse to qualify for this special monthly pension, the veteran must have served at least 90 days of active military service, one day of which was during a period of war, and may not have been dishonorably discharged. Wartime veterans who entered active duty on or after September 8, 1980 (or October 16, 1981 for officers) must have completed at least 24 continuous months of military service or have service the period for which they were ordered to active duty.
The Mendocino County HHSA Veterans Service Office issues Veteran I.D. cards to honorably discharged veterans and assists veterans with the many State and Federal benefits and programs available to them and their dependents. To find out more, visit the HHSA Veterans Service Office at 405 Observatory Avenue in Ukiah or call (707) 463-4226. They are available to assist veterans and their families in completing all required application forms.
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