All the Usual VA Benefits
Turning 65 does not take away your right to receive benefits that are available for veterans of all ages. Just like any other U.S. veteran, if you meet the qualifications, you can receive standard VA benefits like these even if you are age 65 or older:
- VA disability. The requirements for VA disability are quite different from Social Security disability (SSD). SSD will not pay you any benefits unless you are 100 percent disabled, but the VA will send you a monthly check if you have a total or partial service-related disability.
- VA pension, which also has different requirements than Social Security retirement income.
- Education, training, vocational rehabilitation, and employment assistance.
- Health care at a VA facility.
- Home loans and insurance.
- Limited burial
Bonus Round for Elderly Veterans
In addition to all the standard VA benefits, turning 65 opens up several additional benefits that younger veterans cannot get. Some of these include:
VA Extended Geriatric Health Care. If you are an older military veteran with complex medical needs, the VA can provide long-term daily support and assistance in your home, at a VA medical center or in the community. The VA offers assistance with:
- Adult day health care in the community
- Primary care in your home, along with homemaker and home health aide care
- Hospice and palliative care
For those who cannot live at home due to significant medical needs, the VA can help with the cost of nursing homes in the community, state veterans nursing homes, adult family homes and assisted living facilities. Depending on the VA program, factors that determine your eligibility for long-term care benefits include your income and assets, the status of your service-related disability, your medical condition, your need for daily medical care and personal assistance, and the availability of services in your area.
Aid and Attendance (A&A). This benefit adds a supplemental amount to your monthly check if you currently receive or are eligible for a VA pension. You must be:
- Unable to perform daily functions, like feeding yourself, dressing, or grooming without someone’s help, or
- A resident of a nursing home, or
- Bedridden, or
- Have low vision as the VA defines it (with correction, your vision in both eyes is 5/200 or less, or you have concentric contraction of the visual field to five degrees or less).
Housebound is another program for elderly veterans that tacks on an additional amount to the veteran’s monthly pension check. If you are confined to your home much of the time because of a permanent disability, you might meet the requirements to receive this benefit.
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. “Veterans.” (accessed August 30, 2018) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-ageing-robots-widerimage/aging-japan-robots-may-have-role-in-future-of-elder-care-idUSKBN1H33AB