The most commonly overlooked VA benefit is called the “Aid and Attendance” benefit. Of the people who have heard of this benefit, many have been incorrectly told that they do not qualify. The reality is, this benefit is available to many veterans and their spouses and can prove to be a lifesaver when times get tough.
In order to qualify for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit, the veteran must have served at least ninety (90) days of active duty. Of those ninety days, at least one of the days must have been during a designated period of war. This does not mean that the veteran had to have served in combat. It is merely a requirement that the veteran’s service occur during one of the periods of time where the United States had declared war. Official periods of war include: the Mexican Border, May 9, 1916, to April 5, 1917; World War I, April 6, 1917, to November 11, 1918 (April 1, 1920, if served in Russia); World War II, December 7, 1941, to December 31, 1946; Korean Conflict, June 27, 1950, to January 31, 1955; Vietnam War, August 5, 1964, to May 7, 1975 (February 28, 1961, if served in Vietnam); and the Persian Gulf War, August 2, 1990 to an unknown date.
In addition to the Veterans active duty service, he or she must have been discharged from the military in some way other than dishonorably. This could include an honorable discharge, an other-than-honorable discharge, a general discharge or a medical discharge. Even if a veteran was dishonorably discharged, it may still be possible to petition VA to have the dishonorable discharge changed to one of the other forms of discharge.