Aid and Attendance (A&A)

A&A is an enhanced or special monthly pension benefit paid in addition to basic pension. You may not receive enhanced or special monthly pension without first establishing eligibility for basic VA pension. However, because enhanced pension is based upon a higher income limit, a claimant ineligible for basic pension due to excessive income may be eligible for enhanced pension benefits. A Veteran may be eligible for A&A when:

  • The Veteran requires the aid of another person in order to perform his or her activities of daily living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting himself/herself from the hazards of his/her daily environment
  • The Veteran is bedridden, in that his/her disability or disabilities requires that he/she remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment
  • The Veteran is a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity
  • The Veteran has corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less, in both eyes, or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.

Housebound is an enhanced or special monthly pension benefit paid in addition to basic pension. You may not receive enhanced or special monthly pension without first establishing eligibility for basic VA pension. However, because enhanced pension is based upon a higher income limit, a claimant ineligible for basic pension due to excessive income may be eligible for enhanced pension benefits. A Veteran may be eligible for Housebound benefits when:

  • The Veteran has a single permanent disability evaluated as 100-percent disabling AND, due to such disability, he/she is permanently and substantially confined to his/her immediate premises
  • The Veteran has a single permanent disability evaluated as 100-percent disabling AND, another disability, or disabilities, evaluated as 60 percent or more disabling.

A Veteran cannot receive both  A & A and Housebound benefits at the same time.


How to Apply for Aid and Attendance and Housebound:

You may apply for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits by writing to the VA regional office having jurisdiction of the claim. That would be the office where you filed a claim for pension benefits. If the regional office of jurisdiction is not known, you may file the request with any VA regional office.

You should include copies of any evidence, preferably a report from an attending physician validating the need for Aid and Attendance or Housebound type care.

The report should be in sufficient detail to determine whether there is disease or injury producing physical or mental impairment, loss of coordination, or conditions affecting the ability to dress and undress, to feed oneself, to attend to sanitary needs, and to keep oneself ordinarily clean and presentable.

In addition, it is necessary to determine whether the claimant is confined to the home or immediate premises.

Whether the claim is for Aid and Attendance or Housebound, the report should indicate how well the individual gets around, where the individual goes, and what he or she is able to do during a typical day.

Visit Headlines to see a recent article about how aging Veteran’s today are being affected by this benefit.