Presentation on VA Aid and Attendance Pension

November 10 at St. Andrews Village
Posted:  Sunday, November 1, 2015 - 7:00am

In 1996, Jim Merchant moved from Iowa, where he was a high school and college basketball coachback to his hometown in Fairhaven, Mass. to care for his mother.

It was the beginning of an education for Merchant on the cost of in-home care and care provided in nursing facilities. One thing he didn’t realize at the time was that his mother, as the surviving spouse of a veteran, qualified for benefits through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Merchant, a financial services agent with Veterans Financial, Inc., will speak at St. Andrews Village Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. about benefits available for veterans and their dependents.

Specifically, Merchant will focus on the VA’s Aid and Attendance Pension, which can be used by qualifying veterans to pay for care in an assisted living community or services at home.

Through that benefit, a married veteranand spouse can receive up to $2,120 a month tax free. A single veteran can receive up to $1,788 a month and the surviving spouse of a veteran can receive up to $1,149 a month through the program.

To qualify, veterans must meet several conditions. They must have served at least 90 days of active duty with at least one of those days coming during a wartime period, have health concerns that affect their activities of daily living and meet income and asset guidelines.

Merchant said too many veterans and their families don’t know what benefits they qualify for and others may be discouraged by the long and arduous application process.

During the presentation, Merchant will discuss how veterans, even those with significant family assets, can qualify and what they can expect during and after the application process.

Veterans Financial is a private financial service company that specializes in the Aid and Attendance benefit. Since 2004 Veterans Financial has helped over one hundred thousand people learn about this little known VA Pension. Merchant said that Veterans Financialdoes not receive reimbursement for helping veterans or their families navigate the VA system.

He said that most of his company’s clientele are the grown children of veterans who are now caring for their veteran-parents and learning about VA benefits for the first time.

“We are problem solvers. If you can’t find your discharge paperwork, we have the form and we know what to do,” said Merchant.

For more information about the presentation or St. Andrews Village, please call Bob Drury at 633-0920.