By Dale Gribow

Many Vets and their spouses are entitled to financial benefits that the USA does not promote. They are the best kept secrets in our country. The benefit is called Aid and Attendance (A&A) and offsets the cost of care and is not for “extra” help around the house.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has this little known tax free pension available to help qualified veterans and their unmarried surviving spouses pay for home health care, assistance living or nursing home care. Last year an estimated 1.9 million veterans qualified but did not know about it and or did not know how to file a well-documented claim. Only 100,000 filed for this pension that can be a life line allowing Vets to age with dignity and peace of mind. It affords them the care they need and deserve and the power to select the services as well as the provider that meets those needs.

The criteria is based on age, assets, marital status, income, liquid assets and cost of care. You can have $25,000-40,000 in liquid assets and $80,000 in total assets. If your home has substantial value by putting it in IRREVOCABLE TRUST (with a son or daughter as trustee) you can shelter it since you no longer own it. Only the trustee can draw on it. Thus you get an EIN (employer identification number) which takes the place of Soc Security.


Maximum Benefit Amounts in 2012:

Monthly                                              Annually
Two Veterans / Spouses $2,631        Two Veterans / Spouses $31,572
Married Veteran* $2,019                  Married Veteran $24,228
Single Veteran $1,703                      Single Veteran $20,436
Surviving Spouse $1,094                  Surviving Spouse $13,140

Eligibility Requirements:

65 years/ unemployable.
Honorable/General discharge
90 days of active duty with at least one day during an official period of conflict.
Requires care
Meet income/asset criteria

The UN-REMARRIED surviving spouse has NO age requirement. (a surviving spouse must have been married to the Vet for at least 1 year, never divorced and never been remarried.)

Miscellaneous Info:

Service in Merchant Marines during WW2 counts as Navy.

Women in WW2 including Nurses count as active duty.

Reserves and National Guard are not qualified unless they served 90 days active Duty with 1 day during a period of conflict.

The 90 day rules does not apply to those who served less than 990 days but were awarded a purple hearts, suffered a service connected disability, or were killed in the line of duty.
Is A&A a secret because the financial condition of our country is shaky? Most lawyers do not know about Aid and Attendance and they cannot charge a VET for assisting them with this benefit? I honestly do not think it is because lawyers cannot charge for assisting with this benefit but rather that they, like the majority of the population, do not know this benefit exists and is thus the best kept secret in the USA.

Dale Gribow has been “Rated” TOP LAWYER by Palm Springs Life Magazine from 2011-2015 and has a Superb AVVO Legal Rating by his fellow attorneys. He has been Man of the Year 7 times including the City of Palm Desert and the City of Hope and Dale Gribow Day has been declared 4 times. He is the only attorney appointed in December 2013 to the Coachella Valley Association of Government’s Public Safety Ad Hoc Blue Ribbon Committee. Gribow has been a legal commentator, analyst, expert, newspaper columnist and radio talk show host. He currently writes for the CV Weekly and the Desert Sun.

In 2014 Gribow was again the only attorney selected to the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Health Matters Committee addressing Drunk Driving matters. He is also one of the founders of Shutdown Drunk Driving, formed upon the death of his client who was killed by a drunk driver while jogging in October 2013.