Cona Elder Law


Veterans Benefits: Understand Your Benefits and Plan Ahead


As we reflect on all our Veterans have done for our country to keep us safe, to keep us free, and to uphold our democracy, it’s a good time to review the benefits for which Veterans may be eligible from the Veterans Administration (VA).

Service Connected Benefits

A Veteran may be entitled to compensation as a result of a service-connected disability.  Compensation is paid to a service member for an injury or disease that occurred during service or is service connected.   The amount of the compensation is based on the Veteran’s disability rating.  Disability compensation is not taxable income and there is no asset or income limitation.

Non-Service Connected Pension Benefits

The Veterans Administration also has a needs-based pension program for low-income Veterans.  This program is unrelated to service connected injuries and there is no disability rating requirement.

The VA pension program provides payment to a service member who served during a period of war, who is disabled and who has limited income and resources.  The pension amount varies depending on the Veteran’s other income.

Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit

The Aid and Attendance program is part of the needs-based pension program.  Aid and Attendance benefits provide a non-service connected pension benefit for Veterans who need assistance with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices and/or protecting the Veteran from the hazards of their daily environment.

A Veteran, their spouse, or a surviving spouse of a Veteran can qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits if they reside in an assisted living facility or if they are living at home and require the assistance of another individual, such as a home health care aide.

The Veteran must qualify financially for Aid and Attendance benefits.  The applicant is subject to an asset limitation (not including the primary residence and car).  Currently, there is a three year look-back for asset transfers.  As such, early planning to protect assets is critical.

With proper planning, a Veteran and/or spouse can protect assets and receive a maximum amount of Aid and Attendance benefits. As always, be sure to consult with the experienced Elder Law attorneys at Cona Elder Law before engaging in any asset protection planning – whether it be for Veterans benefits or Medicaid benefits.

Cona Elder Law is proud to report that our attorneys are not only experienced Elder Law and Estate Planning attorneys but are also accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Contact us at 631.390.5000 or to secure your assets and benefits.


Jennifer B. Cona, Esq. is the Founder and Managing Partner of Cona Elder Law PLLC. Cona Elder Law is an award-winning law firm concentrating in the areas of elder law, estate planning, estate administration and litigation, and health care law.  The firm has been ranked the #1 Elder Law Firm by Long Island Business News for eight consecutive years.  For additional information, visit

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