Assisted Living For Veterans: Benefits You Didn’t Know Existed

If you served in the military, you are eligible for a nursing home, assisted living, and home-care services. Depending on your income and the level of service you receive, there may be co-pays, as with medical services.

Two young children sitting with an elderly veteran


The services covered can include physical therapy, pain management, full-time medical and nursing care, help with daily living activities, and respite care for the veteran’s regular caregivers, who are often a spouse or other family members.

This care can be provided at the veteran’s home, a group home, an assisted living facility, an adult daycare center, or a nursing home. Some of the facilities are run by the VA while others are contracted to other care providers. The VA also has programs to provide veterans with palliative care, as well as free hospice care.

See the VA website for more information on the VA’s long-term care services and how to apply for them.

In addition to this VA-provided care, many veterans are eligible for two benefit programs that can provide a bigger pension: Age and Attendance Benefits, and Housebound Benefits.

Age and Attendance Benefits is a monthly, needs-based payment in addition to the VA pension, to help cover costs of long-term care.

Veterans must meet one or more of these requirements to qualify:

  • In a nursing home because of a physical or mental disability.
  • Need help with the activities of daily living.
  • Confined to bed, or spend much of the day in bed, due to illness.
  • Eyesight is severely limited, such as 5/200 or worse, even with corrective lenses.

Housebound Benefits are provided to veterans who are mostly confined to their homes due to permanent disability. Veterans are also eligible if they’re living in the home of a relative or confined to their room or unit while institutionalized.

Veterans can apply for either of these benefit programs but cannot collect both simultaneously.

As with other VA benefits, these are means-tested. Veterans must fall below certain income and asset levels to qualify. The payments they receive depend on how many dependents they have, and other factors. It’s adjusted for inflation every year.

More information and an application form are available on this VA website.

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