According to the 2012 U.S. Census brief, Veterans age 65 or older numbered in excess of 12.4 million. These Veterans served in conflicts around the world including World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and even in the Persian Gulf War. As Veterans age, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will provide benefits and services that address a variety of issues including the changing health risks they face, as well as financial challenges through VA benefits and health services.
Elderly Veterans may be eligible for a wide-variety of benefits available to all U.S. military Veterans. VA benefits include: disability compensation, pension, education and training, health care, home loans, insurance, vocational rehabilitation and employment, and burial. See VA Veterans page for an overview of the benefits available to all Veterans.
VA Benefits for Elderly Veterans
Two VA programs provide certain elderly Veterans with an additional monetary amount if you are eligible for or receiving a VA Pension benefit.
Aid and Attendance (A&A) is an increased monthly pension amount paid if you meet one of the conditions below:
- You require help performing daily functions, which may include bathing, eating or dressing.
- You are bedridden.
- You are a patient in a nursing home.
- Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.
Housebound is an increased monthly pension amount paid if you are substantially confined to your immediate premises because of a permanent disability. Learn more about these benefits on the Aid & Attendance Housebound benefitspage.
VA Health Care for Elderly Veterans
Geriatrics is health care for elderly Veterans with complex needs. Extended care – also known as long term care – is a program for Veterans of all ages who need the daily support and assistance of another individual. Elderly Veterans can receive geriatric and long-term care programs at home, at VA medical centers, or in the community.
The available programs, include:
- Geriatrics Program
- Long Term Care
- Eligibility for Long Term Care
- Home Based and Community Services
- Nursing Home and Residential Care
- Geriatrics Research
How to Apply
The specific VA benefit or program web page will provide tailored information about how to apply for a particular benefit or program. Generally, Servicemembers, Veterans, and families can apply for VA benefits using one of the methods below.
- Apply online using va.gov then eBenefits, or
- Work with an accredited representative or agent, or
Go to a VA regional office and have a VA employee assist you. You can find your regional office on our Facility Locator page.