Memorial Day is a special day to honor and remember U.S. military personnel who died in service. A day dedicated to show their respect and reflect on the ultimate sacrifice of military personnel to defend our country’s freedoms. It is important to not only be thankful for their service but also inform veterans of the different benefits they could be eligible for. Sacrificing your life for your country can be a challenge, but being aware of your benefits doesn’t have to be.

On average in the state of Georgia, the cost of staying at a senior living facility for a month is $3,500! According to the U.S. News, “Veterans and their spouses have multiple financial benefits that can help cover the cost of assisted living,” says Rick Wigginton, chief sales officer with Brookdale Senior Living, a Tennessee-based senior living company with 675 senior living communities in 41 states across the country.

These benefits are separate from Medicare or Medicaid benefits, adds Dana Taylor, a social worker and senior regional manager for Veterans Home Care based in St. Louis, Missouri. Medicare is a federal health insurance program for adults 65 and over. Medicaid is a combined state and federal program that provides health coverage to low-income individuals, regardless of age. The VA’s Aid & Attendance and Housebound program is part of pension benefits for veterans and surviving spouses. These benefits, the VA reports, “are paid in addition to monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to pension,” meaning that you can’t access this benefit if you’re not a pensioned veteran or a survivor of a pensioned veteran.

To qualify for the program, you must:

  • Be a veteran of war-era with an honorable discharge or be the surviving spouse of a veteran of war-era with an honorable discharge.
  • Need medical assistance.
  • Need financial assistance.

Aid & Attendance kick in when you meet one of several potential conditions, including:

  • Requiring the aid of another person to perform the activities of daily living. These personal functions include bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, or assistance in staying safe from hazards in your daily environment.
  • Being disabled to the point of being bedridden, beyond what would be considered normal recovery from a course of treatment like surgery.
  • Being a patient in a nursing home because of physical or mental incapacity.
  • Having very poor eyesight (5/200 corrected visual acuity or less in both eyes) or a field of vision limited to 5 degrees or less.

This program can make a huge difference for veterans and their families, offering peace of mind and much-needed support.

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