Sometimes veterans with a disability (acquired in the line of duty) might become unable to live independently. In this case, they would require assisted living care to help with daily activities involving personal hygiene, meal preparation, transport, etc.
For this reason, the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs awards an additional benefit to such veterans to cater for assisted living care costs. There are two categories of this benefit – Housebound and Aid & Attendance allowances. Usually, this is in addition to their regular pension.
Though the process is lengthy, it pays off eventually as the Veterans Administration (VA) can backdate the allowances to the application date. Alternatively, veterans can apply to live in a state-owned facility as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.
Eligibility for assisted living veteran benefits
To qualify for Aid & Attendance benefits, a veteran must be on the VA pension scheme and satisfy one of the following requirements:
- Inability to perform activities of daily living – bathing, dressing, feeding, medication management, etc.
- Nursing home patient with a mental or physical disability
- Weak eyesight
- A bedridden patient due to illness
On the other hand, you can qualify for housebound allowance provided you’re on the VA pension and you have a disability that has confined you to your home.
How to apply for assisted living veteran benefits
There are two ways in which you can apply for Aid & Attendance and Housebound benefits. One, you can fill out VA Form 21-2680 and send it to the Indiana pension management center (PMC). Among other details, the form gathers information that points to your need for the assisted living benefits. You can also provide additional documents to support your request, like a doctor’s report, etc. Alternatively, you can fill the form and hand-deliver it to the nearest VA regional office.
As earlier mentioned, processing assisted living veteran benefits takes time. Besides, there’s no guarantee for approval. There’s always a chance that VA might reject your application for failing to meet the requirements.
Hence, you can have a veteran benefit planner or a skilled attorney assess your situation to ensure that your application meets the requirements. They can help simplify the process by identifying exceptions, gathering supporting documentation and negotiating skillfully to maximize the benefit. And if you don’t qualify for the assisted living benefits for one reason or another, they can advise you on alternative veteran benefits that you could explore.