Greater Peoria Metro Area, IL

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VA Benefits for Assisted Living


By Linda Snyder, Senior Care Advocate, Villas of Holly Brook

Every day, people just like you are confronted with important decisions about the care of their elderly loved one while keeping in mind their comfort, safety, dignity, and wellbeing. You are not alone in this process. If your loved one needs assistance with daily activities, an assisted living apartment may be the answer you are looking for — but can you afford it?

Usually, seniors have Social Security, savings, and a small pension to provide for their retirement years. Many have additional stocks, 401K, and a home they can sell for additional income. One benefit many veterans and their spouses could utilize is their Aid and Attendance Benefit.

Did you know that surviving spouses can receive a $1,153 tax-free monthly benefit? Single veterans can receive $1,794, and married veterans get $2,127 per month. If you and your spouse are veterans, you may qualify for $2,846 monthly benefit. You must apply to see if you qualify.

Aid and attendance benefit
The Department of Veteran Affairs offers a special benefit to war-era veterans and their surviving spouses called Aid and Attendance. This is a tax-free benefit designed to provide financial assistance to help cover the cost of long-term care in the home, in an assisted-living facility, or in a nursing home.

This benefit is for those veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person or caregiver in at least two of the daily activities of living such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring.

Eligibility requirements

  • Must have served at least 90 days of active duty with at least one day during a period of war
  • Must have anything other than a dishonorable discharge
  • A surviving spouse must have been married to the veteran at the time of his passing
  • Must require the assistance of another person to perform some of the daily activities of living
  • Must meet income and countable asset criteria established by the VA
  • Must be 65 years and older or totally disabled

Eligible periods of war
World War II: December 7, 1941–December 31, 1946, inclusive. If the veteran was in service on December 31, 1946, continuous service before July 26, 1947, is considered World War II service.

Korean conflict: June 27, 1950–January 31, 1955, inclusive.

Vietnam era: The period beginning on February 28, 1961, and ending on May 7, 1975, inclusive, in the case of a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period. The period beginning on August 5, 1964, and ending on May 7, 1975, inclusive, in all other cases.

Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990, through date to be prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law.

How to apply
To apply for pension benefits, fill out and submit the following forms: 

Veterans Pension: Veteran’s Application for Compensation and/or Pension (VA Form 21-526)

Survivors Pension: Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension, and Accrued Benefits by Surviving Spouse or Child (VA Form 21-534).

You can access these forms by applying online via, your one-stop shop to apply for and learn about your benefits if you’re a veteran. Download either form at, call the VA toll free at 1-800-827-1000 to have a claim form mailed to you, or by visiting your local VA regional office. For the VA regional office nearest you, call VA toll free at 1-800-827-1000.

Pick up a VA Aid & Attendance brochure at the Villas of South Park and Reflections Memory Care, a Charleston, Illinois-based company operating 15 communities with six additional communities opening soon. The Villas of South Park offers spacious apartments with a full range of personalized assisted living services. Reflections provides personal suites with Alzheimer’s and dementia specialty care. All care and services are delivered by compassionate team members who are trained to encourage independence, preserve dignity, enable freedom of choice and protect the privacy of residents.

To learn more about the Villas of Holly Brook, the Villas of South Park, and Reflections Memory Care, please visit,, or call 855-20-VILLA (855-208-4552). Join us for a personal tour and stay for lunch.