• VA Aid & Attendance-Important Facts You Need to Know
  • September 22, 2010
  • Law Firm: Plachta Murphy Associates P.C. - Grand Rapids Office
  • Aid & Attendance (A & A) is an underutilized benefit available to any United States Military veteran (or surviving spouse) who meets the service, financial, and physical criteria. This benefit is an addition to a veteran’s monthly VA pension. Of the 7 million Michigan veterans, over 500,000 are eligible for the Aid & Attendance benefits. However, 4 percent are receiving this deserved benefit!

    Veterans seeking appeals for information on benefits used to be able to go to local service centers with paid workers to provide them with help. However, elimination of these local centers and workers due to state budget cuts have forced veterans to go through this process alone, or through the backlogged Ann Arbor facility. It takes an average of 8-12 months for a filer’s application to be processed and to receive a determination letter. Due to the current backlog of claims to be processed, this time frame can be much longer.

    Thankfully, the VA now allows certified attorneys to represent veterans before its review boards. It is recommend that people looking to file for this important benefit take advantage of the assistance of those experienced with the bureaucracy of the VA since it can greatly reduce the time it takes to receive benefits.

    Who is eligible for A & A benefits? Veterans age 65 or over that have served at least ninety days of active military service, one day of which was during wartime, and have an honorable discharge; or the veteran’s surviving spouse. Financial Criteria: The VA must determine that your net worth is such that it will probably not support you through the remainder of your life.

    There are many upsides for those eligible. First, The VA does not include primary residence or vehicles when determining net worth. Second, a onetime gifting can be made to lower your assets. Third, unlike Medicaid, the VA has no look back period. Fourth, Aid & Attendance can help pay for personal home care, skilled nursing facilities, or an assisted living community unlike Medicaid which will only pay for skilled nursing home care.

    VA certified attorney, Miles J. Murphy, from the law firm of Plachta, Murphy & Associates, P.C. states “Just as our veterans have given so much to serve us, it is our duty to give back to them by helping them and their families understand their legal rights and successfully pursue their rightful benefits.”  

    If you are a veteran, or surviving spouse, eligible for this benefit please contact Miles J. Murphy III of Plachta, Murphy & Associates, P.C. Miles is the first VA accredited attorney in West Michigan and has helped hundreds of families obtain their rightful government benefits. Contact Miles at 616-458-3994 or [email protected]