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  • Gabriel B. Lenhart

Serving Those Who Sacrificed

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a little known tax-free pension available to help qualified veterans, spouses, and their surviving spouses pay for their in-home, assisted living, or nursing home care. The VA Aid & Attendance & Housebound Pension is designed to provide qualified veterans and their un-remarried surviving spouses with financial benefits outside of the traditional VA residential system. This Non-Service Connected pension was established in 1952 under Title 38 U.S.C. and has two components, Aid & Attendance & Housebound benefits.

Every year, more than 4.4 BILLION dollars are set aside for this program, and a mere millions are used annually, the remainder of these funds are returned to the general fund and is spent as Congress sees fit. Last year an estimated 1.9 million veterans qualified but did not know about this program and/or did not know how to file a well-documented claim. With 60% of the seniors in the United States being veterans or spouses of veterans this pension can be a lifeline to allow them to age with dignity and peace of mind all the while affording them to receive the care they need and deserve.

Access to the benefit through this system provides qualifying veterans with access to care. With a pension in hand, veterans are able to afford the care they need and are provided a choice. Veterans have the power to select the services they need as well as the provider that meets those needs. Additionally, the pension is dependable. Like Social Security, the pension will always be there for qualified beneficiaries and is paid directly to you by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

While the VA has set aside billions of dollars for this benefit, none of that money has been set aside to educate veterans on the benefit. However, U.S. Senior Vets and their volunteer advocates are here to guide you through what can be a complex and confusing process. USSV is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to assisting and educating our nation's senior veterans and their surviving spouses about the Non-Service Connected Disability Pension with Aid and Attendance. This benefit may be available for those needing home health care, assisted living, or skilled nursing.

U.S. Senior Vets and their volunteer advocates never charge for their services in educating and assisting veterans to apply for this benefit. As a non-profit organization we rely on donations from private individuals, the business sector, and charitable foundations to enable us to continue providing our services. We also greatly depend upon the help of Volunteer Advocates who are often attorneys, CPA's, gerontologists, financial professionals, placement agencies, and other professionals serving seniors in their communities.

Please note that this article is a general summary of law and omits many important details, footnotes, and caveats. It is no substitute for legal advice from a lawyer based on your particular circumstances.

For more information, call Gabriel Lenhart, your local Veteran’s Advocate and VA-Accredited Attorney, at (530) 268-5485, or email

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