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Signs that VA Benefits Could Help You

I talk to many older adults and their family caregivers every day who say things like this:

  • Mom and dad aren’t safe in their home, but where they’re putting off moving into an assisted living facility because they don't think they can afford it.

  • My husband and I have trouble performing many of the activities of daily living, but we don’t have money to pay for outside help.

  • I have an old injury from my years of service and the older I get, the more it hurts, but I haven’t gotten it treated because I can’t afford it.

If you or someone you love is a veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran, and you’ve said these things, the VA may be able to help. The VA offers both service-connected and non-service-connected benefits to veterans and surviving spouses. These benefits can make a real difference in quality of life, but not all veterans know about them.

Older veterans and their surviving spouses may be able to tap into one or more of the following three types of VA benefits:

Disability Compensation

Service-connected disability compensation is a tax-free benefit paid to Veterans for a disability (or disabilities) that either arose during service, was worsened or aggravated by service, or is presumed by VA to be related to military service. To receive disability compensation, you must have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.

VA Pension

Pension is a tax-free benefit paid to wartime Veterans with limited or no income who are either aged 65 or older or who are permanently and totally disabled due to a non-service-connected cause. Seriously disabled or housebound Veterans receiving Pension may also qualify for an additional Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefit.

Dependents and Survivors

VA honors the sacrifices of Servicemembers’ and Veterans’ dependents and survivors through many benefit programs. One is Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), a monthly benefit paid to a surviving spouse, including additional payments for dependent children. It is available to an eligible spouse of a Servicemember who died during active military service or from a service-connected disability, or of a Veteran who was rated totally disabled at the time of death. Parents’ DIC is paid to surviving parents based on financial need. The surviving spouse and child(ren) who are eligible for DIC are also eligible for additional benefits. The Survivors’ Pension is a monthly benefit payable to a low-income surviving spouse and child(ren) of a deceased Veteran with wartime service.


As you make important choices about your family, finances, and career, I encourage you to find out which benefits might be available to help you or your loved one. Start by visiting, to learn about your benefits. If you need help (and many veterans do), Johnson McGinnis Elder Care Law and Estate Planning is here for you. We can assist every step of the way. Just give us a call to get started.615.824.2571.


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