VA Aid & Attendance Pension
Underhill & Underhill, P.C.’s Veterans Benefits Practice Provides Comprehensive Advice and Representation to Veterans and their Spouses
The Veterans Administration provides the Aid and Attendance Pension benefit program for wartime veterans and their spouses. Every Veteran who served at least one day during wartime, and the Veteran’s surviving spouse, are eligible. There are no requirements that the Veteran have retired from the military or have suffered a service-connected disability. This pension is truly a way in which our country provides for its veterans as they grow older and begin to incur higher costs of care at the same time that their resources are diminishing.
This special pension program provides financial assistance to wartime veterans who lack the funds necessary to pay for the care and assistance they need to complete the routine activities of daily living. The pension not only pays for the veteran’s care, but also for his/her spouse’s care and, if the veteran passes away, the surviving spouse’s care. The Aid and Attendance Pension can be used to pay for continuing care in the veteran’s or spouse’s own home or in an assisted living or nursing home. Benefits may also be available for house-bound individuals who require daily assistance to maintain their health, dignity and safety.
A qualified veteran with a spouse can apply for financial assistance of up to $24,648.00 per year, tax-free (up to $2,054.00 per month). In many cases, the Aid and Attendance Pension, along with other monthly income or family subsidies, has made it possible for residents to avoid going on Medicaid and to remain in their own homes or in private-pay assisted living homes.
Our Veterans Benefits Practice
Joanne Underhill is accredited by the Veterans Administration as an attorney knowledgeable about veteran benefits. As the daughter of a career Air Force pilot who grew up on military bases throughout the United States, Joanne understands how important the Aid and Attendance Pension benefit can be to veterans and their spouses.
The Veteran’s Benefits Practice is an important part of Underhill & Underhill, P.C.’s law practice, so much so that it is actually a separate division of the law firm’s business. Nadia Maatougui is the lead paralegal in our Veterans Benefits Practice.
As attorneys, we work with our clients’ families to assemble all the evidence needed to qualify for the Aid and Attendance Pension benefit and assist the veteran in preparing the initial application. We are proud of our success in helping veterans’ families apply for this valuable pension benefit.
Sometimes a surviving spouse is entitled to other VA benefits, and in those cases we will assist the surviving spouse or his/her power of attorney to apply for those benefits as well.
In addition to a very high application success rate, over the last year we have been able to reduce the waiting period for new Aid and Attendance Pension benefit applications by many months. With our assistance the VA has been able to approve pension applications in 90 – 120 days, and sometimes in even less time.
Post-Application Eligibility Reviews
Prior to 2013 the VA required veterans and their spouses to undergo an annual eligibility review. The VA no longer requires annual recertification of eligibility. The agency now investigates continuing eligibility in other ways and may propose to adjust or eliminate the pension benefit in response to information received from third sources. Sometimes that information is incorrect, and the veteran or a family member is confused and doesn’t know how to respond to the VA’s inquiry. If nothing is done, or the family’s response is insufficient, the VA may reduce or eliminate the pension without further correspondence. A lawyer’s perspective can ensure that the veteran or his/her family responds appropriately to VA correspondence of this nature so that the pension is protected. If the worst happens, and the pension is reduced or eliminated, we may be able to help the family restore it.
Oftentimes veterans and their families have opted to handle the pension application themselves, or they have used another organization to assist them. A large number of initial applications are denied. There obviously are many reasons for denial. Many of these reasons can be addressed successfully in an appeal of the unfavorable decision. Our law firm represents veterans in appealing the denial decision and qualifying for the pension.
Our legal expertise contributes to our very high appellate success rate. Currently, we are obtaining favorable results on appeal in 30 – 60 days from the filing of the appeal.
Areas of Expertise
• Counseling veterans and their families regarding eligibility for the VA Aid and Attendance Pension
• Assistance to veterans and their families in completing the VA Aid and Attendance Pension application
• Assistance to veterans and their families in VA eligibility audits and reviews
• Assistance to veterans and their families in appeals of a denial of a pension application
You Can Contact Underhill & Underhill, P.C.’s Veterans Benefits Practice At:
7350 East Progress Place, Suite 110, Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Toll free telephone: 877-721-7111