The Hampshire retirement residence said a recent veterans seminar that it held revealed that the majority of those in the audience, consisting of more than 50 veterans, was unaware of the existence of Aid & Attendance benefits available to veterans and surviving spouses.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), nearly 100,000 deserving wartime veterans and their surviving spouses are eligible for Aid & Attendance benefits but don’t yet receive them because they are unaware of them or are unsure of the qualifications necessary to receive the benefit.
The Aid & Attendance benefit provides qualifying veterans and surviving spouses with a substantial, tax-free monthly income because of their wartime service, the Hampshire said in a news release.
Benefit amounts are determined by the VA and are based on need. Qualifying wartime veterans can receive up to $19,728 per year, a surviving spouse of a wartime veteran can receive up to $12,672 per year, and a married couple could receive up to $23,388 per year.
Eligibility is based on three criteria: veteran status, health status and financial status.
To meet the veteran status, veterans or surviving spouses must have served at least 90 consecutive days of active duty and one day during a declared war. Recognized time periods that qualify as a "wartime era" by the VA are World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Gulf War.
The health status requires a doctor to indicate the need for aid and attendance and the financial qualifications are determined by the VA. The VA doesn’t provide official guidelines on how to qualify medically or financially, and each application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, so meeting with a local veterans advocate is recommended, according to a news release.
The Hampshire’s news release said it holds regular educational seminars on the Aid & Attendance benefit and provides access to veteran service providers who can privately speak with potential applicants and their families as well as assist in the qualification and application process, if necessary.
The benefits are retroactive to the month immediately following the date of application, and The Hampshire said it has programs to assist pre-qualified wartime veterans and their surviving spouses with living expenses until the benefit is received.
The program is designed to provide financial aid to veterans or surviving spouses who require services for any number of daily activities.The Hampshire's next veterans seminar will be held on Tuesday, June 21, at 10:30 a.m. and is open to the public. Please contact Brooke Promnitz with The Hampshire at (209) 383-3500 to learn more or to RSVP for the seminar.