Veteran’s Benefits Explained

Photo by Anthony Posey

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a little known tax free pension available to help qualified veterans, spouses and their surviving spouses pay for home health care, assistance living or nursing home care.

VA Non-Service Connected Disability Pension Benefits.

The VA Aid & Attendance & Housebound Pension is designed to provide qualified veterans and their un-remarried surviving spouses with financial benefits outside of the traditional VA residential system. This pension benefit, which was established in 1952 under title 38USC, provides a direct, tax free monthly pension to help defray the cost of long-term care.

2015 Maximum Benefit Amounts

  • Two Veterans / Spouses $2,837 per month
  • Married Veteran* $2,120 per month
  • Single Veteran $1,788 per month
  • Surviving Spouse $1,149 per month

* Assuming the veteran needs care. If only the spouse needs care, a married veteran could qualify for up to $1,404 monthly. $16,851 Annually.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be 65 years old and / or unemployable.
  • Must have an Honorable or General discharge (any other than Dishonorable discharge).
  • Must have served at least 90 days of active Federal duty with at least one day during an official period of conflict.
  • Must have a medical necessity requiring care.
  • Must meet income and countable asset criteria established by the VA.


We’re here to help, Free of charge.


Our team of professionals is here to guide you through what can often be a complex and confusing process. We understand the “winding Road” of the process and can help ensure that you have satisfied all of the VA’s qualifying criteria.

USSV is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to assisting and educating our nation’s senior veterans and their surviving spouses about the Non-Service Connected Disability Pension with Aid and Attendance.

USSV team relies on our seasoned VA Accredited Staff for the processing of any claims for benefits. For those wanting assistance with filing a claim, all claims related matters are conducted by our VA accredited staff. Jointly, we have successfully assisted tens of thousands of deserving Veterans and Surviving Spouses in obtaining their benefits.

As a non-profit organization we rely on donations from private individuals, the business sector and charitable foundations to enable us to continue providing our services. We also greatly depend upon the help of Volunteer Advocates who are often attorneys, CPA’s, gerontologists, financial professionals, placement agencies and other professionals serving seniors in their communities.

The How Awards Are Granted

The final decision rests with the VA’s St. Paul National office. This decision is based on the information provided by the applicant. The adjudication staff makes the initial decision, which is then sent to the Rating Board for final approval. Once approved, a request is sent to the US Treasury to begin monthly payments.

About the VA

The VA operates through state-based regional and national offices. Applications are reviewed at the national offices.

However, the actual VA “intake” mechanism is not a function of the VA itself. Since the 1950’s the VA has used a network of what has now grown to over 110 agencies that provide Veterans Service Officers or “VSO’s”.

About VSO’s

VSO’s are accredited by the VA, but are not employees of the VA. The VA does not operate any local offices where a potential applicant or their families can inquire about benefit eligibility.

Examples of VSO sponsors are the: VFW, DAV, Red Cross, American Legion, many Councils on Aging, and all state government Departments of Veterans Affairs. When you inquire about benefit eligibility, you are not speaking with the VA itself. The VA actually advises potential applicants to interview VSO’s before engaging them to assist in their application process.

The study also found that only 19% of the answers provided were “completely correct”. A common theme with inquiries was “rude, dismissive, unprofessional, and unhelpful” behavior on the part of those providing information.

Should I try to file a VA claim by myself?

In our opinion and strongly reinforced by the VA, the answer is “No.” The VA recognizes three groups to assist veterans in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims: The accredited Veterans Service Officer’s (VSO), claims agents and VA accredited attorneys. The claims process can be very frustrating if you have not been trained and do not understand the law. Therefore, you may unnecessarily be denied due to incorrectly presented information. Your claim may also take many more months to complete because of information request and exchanges between you and the VA. We strongly recommend that you use the services of a VA accredited individual or organization, which includes state and county veterans service agencies. There is no fee for using an accredited resource.

US Senior Vets and Aaron Steele are not affiliated with, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, or any other congressionally chartered or recognized organization of honorably discharged members of the Armed Forces of the United States or any of their auxiliaries. Products or services that may be discussed are not necessarily endorsed by those organizations. You may qualify for benefits other than or in addition to the benefits discussed at this event.

For more information please US Senior Vets:

Toll-free: (877) 245-VETS (8387)


Your local volunteer veterans advocate:

Aaron Steele
(360) 464-2979

For more information about the VA go to

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