It’s Veterans Day, a day to honor and remember our veterans, and their families, and to thank them for their service to our country.
In my work with families seeking long-term care for their elder loved ones, I always ask if their loved one is a veteran. If they say yes, I tell them they may be entitled to a benefit that could help them pay for long-term care, and nine out of 10 times they’re shocked and surprised. Why are veterans’ benefits for seniors and spouses such a secret?
“Funny you should ask,” said Victoria Collier, elder law attorney; “That’s why I named my book 47 Secret Veterans’ Benefits for Seniors. It’s just not known, and the VA is not putting any resources into mailing veterans letters when they turn 65, the way Medicare does, to say that we have a benefit that can pay you tax-free income to help offset healthcare costs.”
Collier and I spoke during a recent episode of The Aging Boomers. Our conversation centered on the Aid & Attendance Pension, a benefit for war era veterans and surviving spouses who require assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, bathing, and dressing.
Collier described the benefit’s details and walked me through the labyrinth of eligibility requirements. Her number one piece of advice: “Don’t try to fill out that VA application all by yourself. There are different ways to do it right, and it can mean the difference between waiting nine months for approval or 45 days.”. .
To learn about the right way to apply, and more about veterans’ benefits for seniors, check out Collier’s book, 47 Secret Veterans’ Benefits for Seniors, visit her website, elderlawgeorgia.com