Using Veteran’s Benefits for Assisted Living


4 min read

Using Veteran’s Benefits for Assisted Living


Paying for Senior Care Caregivers and Family

Although assisted living costs on average $5,000 to $7,000 per month nationwide, many families need not shoulder the financial burden alone. There are several creative ways to pay for assisted living, including Aid and Attendance benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

For qualifying veterans and their spouses, benefits may cover a significant portion of the average monthly assisted living fee—ranging from around $1,400 for a surviving spouse to more than $2,200 for a single veteran or $2,600 for a married veteran.

Here’s how to make the most of the veteran’s benefits that you or your loved one may be entitled to.


Not every person who has served in the military is able to receive to Aid and Attendance benefits. There are several areas of eligibility that must be met, including service, medical and financial requirements.

First, the veteran must have served in active duty for a minimum of 90 days (prior to 1980) or 24 months (after 1980), with at least one day during wartime. He or she must also not have received a dishonorable discharge. Recognized wartime periods and further details about service requirements are listed here.

Second, at least one of the following must be true: The veteran is over 65 years old, has a permanent and total disability, is a long-term nursing home patient due to a disability, or is already receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.

Finally, the net worth of the veteran and his or her spouse must total less than $155,356 (through November 2024). Net worth includes assets—the personal property the veteran owns—plus annual income, which may be earned from a job or from retirement and annuity payments. Important to note: Assets do not include a primary residence, car or basic home furnishings such as appliances. For more details, see here.

How to Apply

Before applying, veterans and their families will need to gather their Social Security or VA file number, military history, financial and medical information, work history and bank account direct deposit information. The types of evidence and documents needed to support a claim are outlined here.

The 17-page benefits application form may be downloaded here and mailed to the appropriate VA pension management center based on the veteran’s state of residence. Alternatively, veterans may bring their information to the nearest VA regional office to apply in person.

Need Help?

If this all sounds arduous, that’s because it is. The application process is notoriously complicated, and approval can take months. For a fee, a variety of organizations will help streamline the application process, including Aid & Attendance and Patriot Angels.

Alternatively, representatives from accredited Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) can provide application assistance free of charge. To find an accredited VSO, click here.

Contemplating the next chapter in your loved one’s story? Click here to learn more about Bickford Senior Living and to find a branch near you.