The basic eligibility requirements are as follows:
The veteran must have served at least 90 days active duty. (Exceptions may apply for those who did not serve in active duty.)
The veteran must have served one day during a time of war and must not have been dishonorably discharged.
- A widow must be over age 65 and have been married to the veteran at the time of the veteran’s death.
You must prove eligibility by filing the proper Veterans Application for Pension and providing supporting documents.
Each VA medical center has Caregiver Support Coordinators to help you with the application process. The VA also offers a free online workshop for caregivers, as well as hints and advice from others who care for veterans. To find more information, call the VA Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274 or visit www.caregiver.va.gov.
Federal law prohibits attorneys and others from charging a fee to assist with the VA application. The Aid and Attendance application approval process may take 4-6 months. If approved, benefits are paid retroactively to the month after the application was filed.
As of March 2015, the VA requires the use of standard claim and appeal forms available on the VA website. For more information on the different benefit programs and care options for your loved one, visit the VA website.
Additional Veterans Resources
Parkinson’s Disease Research Education and Clinical Centers (PADRECCs) are dedicated to treating Parkinson’s and other movement disorders for veterans within VA Medical Centers. Established by the Veterans Health Administration, the six locations include: Philadelphia, Richmond, Houston, West Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland/Seattle. Learn more at www.parkinsons.va.gov.
Veterans of Foreign Wars USA (VFW) is an advocate organization that offers pro-bono representation to veterans when benefits or entitlements are needed or denied. A modest grant is also available for qualifying basic life needs through the Unmet Needs program. Learn more at www.vfw.org.
Disabled Veterans of America (DAV) assists veterans in maximizing benefits and getting rides to appointments at no cost. Learn more at www.dav.org.