The Department of Veteran Affairs reports that there are an estimated $33 million in unclaimed veteran benefits dating back to as early as the first World War. Over two-thirds, or 13 million, of all veterans, are age 55 or older; however, only 5% of senior veterans utilize their benefits.
If you’re a senior veteran, you may not know how to take full advantage of the senior benefits you are entitled to, or how to claim them. With a majority of veteran benefits going unused by seniors, The Pavilion Senior Living would like to help you better understand and utilize the benefits you may be eligible for.
Aid & Attendance Benefits
The aid and attendance benefit, often one of the most seldom used benefits of veterans, can offer financial relief to senior veterans seeking a senior living community. This benefit is for any veteran who requires regular assistance with day-to-day activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, mobility, medication monitoring, and/or meal preparation.
To be eligible for this benefit, you must have completed 90 consecutive days of active duty or served one day during active wartime. Alternatively, if you are the spouse of a veteran, you can claim these benefits as long as you were married at the time of the veteran’s passing. This veteran’s benefit can range anywhere from $1,000-$2,600 a month. To learn more about this benefit or to apply, we encourage you to visit the Veteran Affairs website.
Supplemental Income for Wartime Veterans
Supplemental income for wartime veterans, commonly referred to as Veterans Pension, is a benefit for those who served 90 days during active wartime. If your service started after September 7th, 1980, to receive this benefit, you must have served for 24 months with at least one day served during active wartime.
To receive this veteran benefit, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- Receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Have a permanent and total disability
- Be at least 65 years old
These benefits can vary depending on a few factors, such as the number of dependents you have, if you are married, or if you are housebound. You can apply for this veteran benefit on the Veteran Affairs website. Be sure to have your military history, financial information, social security numbers, and banking direct deposit information when you file your claim.
Local and State Benefits
While the Department of Veterans Affairs offers great benefits on a federal level, many states have begun taking it a step further and offering veteran-exclusive benefits. For example, the state of Tennessee offers free hunting and fishing licenses for veterans who are disabled with a one-time $10 fee. If you’d like to find out more about your specific state, Military.com is an excellent resource for finding these state-specific benefits.
Understanding and claiming the veteran benefits you are entitled to will aid in creating a better quality of life for yourself and your family. At The Pavilion Senior Living, we want to thank all veterans for their service and sacrifices. For more helpful information regarding senior benefits or senior living, we invite you to visit our blog.