VA Services for Aging Veterans
By LTC (US ARMY AVIATION Retired) W. Larry Dandridge
Benefits and services available for aging veterans and their families. Some of the benefits and services available to aging veterans include Disability Pension, Aid and Attendance, and Housebound Allowance. Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits provide monthly payments added to the amount of a monthly VA pension for qualified veterans and survivors. If a veteran needs help with daily activities or is housebound, they may be eligible for these benefits.
- Disability Pension is payable to veterans of a period of war who are permanently totally disabled or who are age 65 or older and whose annual income is below certain levels.
- Aid and Attendance (A&I) is a higher monthly pension amount paid if the veteran meets at least one of the following conditions. The veteran requires help performing daily living activities, is bedridden, is a nursing home patient (mental or physical incapacity), or has eyesight limited to a corrected 5/200 acuity or less in both eyes or a decrease in the visual field to 5 degrees or less.
- Housebound Allowance is a higher monthly pension amount paid if the veteran is substantially confined to their premises.
For more information, call myVA411 at 800-698-2411 and go to the VA’s Disability Pension and Housebound sites at https://www.va.gov/pension/eligibility and https://www.va.gov/pension/aid-attendance-housebound/.
More VA Health Care for aging veterans. Extended care (long-term care) is a broad spectrum of services for veterans of all ages who need daily support. Veterans of any age can receive Geriatric and Extended Care services at home, at VA hospitals, and clinics, and in the community. That care includes:
- Geriatrics programs in hospitals and clinics. Read more at https://www.va.gov/GERIATRICS/.
- Home Based Services (Skilled Home Care, Home Based Primary Care, and Home Health Aide).
- Community-Based Services (adult day health care and caregiver respite).
- Skilled nursing facility and nursing home care provided in VA, Community, and State Veterans Homes.
- Dementia care.
- Hospice and palliative care.
Applying for aging veterans’ VA Benefits and Services.
Veterans can apply in any of these ways:
- Apply online using https://www.va.gov or
- Work with an accredited Veterans Service Officer (VSO). Find S.C. County VSOs at https://scdva.sc.gov/county-veterans-affairs-offices or
- Write to the Pension Management Center that serves your state. See https://www.va.gov/pension/pension-management-centers or
- Call myVA411 at 800-698-2411.
- Go to a VA regional office. The Columbia SC Regional Office is located at 6437 Garners Ferry Road, Columbia, S.C. 29209, phone 803-647-2488, and email VBACMS@va.gov.
Veterans need their Social Workers. VA Social Workers can help a veteran to apply for aging services. See the website at https://www.socialwork.va.gov to learn more. Fins your Social Worker by calling your local VA Medical Center or Clinic or by searching the VA’s Directory of Social Worker Leaders. Sherree Colvin is the Social Worker Leader at the VA’s Dorn Medical Center, phone 803-776-4000 (extension 57622), email Sherree.Colvin@va.gov.
Ask Your VSO. Ask your local VSO to explain what healthcare and other benefits you are eligible for and how to apply for those benefits.
Larry Dandridge is a Vietnam War wounded warrior, a combat 100% service-connected disabled veteran, an ex-Enlisted Infantryman, an ex-Warrant Officer Attack Helicopter Pilot, and a retired Lt. Colonel. He is a past Veterans Service Officer, a Patient Adviser at the RHJ VA Hospital, a Patient and Family Centered Care Instructor, a Fisher Houses of SC Good Will Ambassador, and the VP for Veteran Affairs for the local Association of the US Army and Military Officers of America Association (MOAA) Chapter.
Larry is also the author of the award-winning Blades of Thunder (Book One) and a contributing freelance writer with the Beaufort SC Island News. Larry’s more than 250 articles on veterans’ benefits, leadership, hospice, logistics, and law enforcement have been published in more than 20 magazines and newspapers and three books in the USA, Germany, and England. Contact him at LDandridge@earthlink.net or 843-276-7164.