One of the most frequent questions that we get regarding VA Aid and Attendance benefits eligibility is: What is the service requirement to qualify?
Some people believe that you have to have been career military, or have had at least two years in, engaged in active combat duty or even been in the country where the fighting took place, in order to qualify. But, these are myths and simply not the case. The service requirement to qualify for VA pension benefits is that someone has to have spent at least 90 continuous days on active duty, at least one of those being a wartime period, and have received any kind of a discharge other than dishonorable.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses what the service requirement is to qualify for VA Aid and Attendance benefits.
What Service Requirement Must Be Met For VA Pension Benefit Eligibility?
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. This is another in our series of videos on VA Aid and Attendance benefits, eligibility rules, available planning. One of the questions that we get, pretty frequently, is: What is the service requirement to qualify?
First, let me dispel one myth, and that is some people believe that you have to have been career military or you have to have had at least your two years in, in order to qualify. That’s not the case. The service requirement is that someone has to have spent at least 90 continuous days on active duty, at least one of those being a wartime period, and you can check your service records against the VAs dates and determine that, and have received any kind of a discharge other than dishonorable. So, honorable, general, medical all work.
One of the sub-questions that I get on that is: Well, what about somebody who is in the national guard? Can they qualify?
Well, the question there is whether they were called up to active duty. If they were called up for at least 90 continuous days, at least one of which was during a wartime period, the answer is yes. Otherwise, the answer is no.
A couple of things that I didn’t mention because they are not required. I didn’t say anything about being injured in the service. The VA has a separate program of benefits called Service Connected Disability, but Aid and Attendance isn’t that, it’s a pension benefit. And I didn’t say anything about being engaged in active combat duty or even being in the country where the fighting took place. So, if you were stationed in Germany during the Korean war, you are every bit a wartime veteran.
So, hopefully that will help to clear up a few things. Come see us, we can clear of a lot of other things that will be of help to you. Thanks.
For more on Veteran’s Benefits, visit these articles:
- How the VA Determines Monthly Benefits
- Types of Care Covered by VA Benefits
- Protecting Your Residence While Establishing VA Pension Benefits Eligibility
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Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618)632-7000 or (314)567-9292 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.