Louisiana disability lawyer Loyd Bourgeois offers a heart-felt and genuine THANK YOU to all of our veterans on this day, set aside to honor you. Without you, our country and our life would be much different than they are today. Because of you and the sacrifices you have made, we all live in a free democracy and can enjoy the richness such a life has to offer.
On this Veterans Day, I would like to mention a few programs aimed specifically at compensating disabled veterans.
Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits
Any veteran with 90 consecutive days of active duty service with at least one day beginning or ending during a period of war is eligible to apply for the Aid and Attendance Improved Pension benefit. A surviving spouse whose marriage ended due to death of a qualified veteran may also apply. Recent veterans of the following war periods are eligible: World War II, Korean Conflict, Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War. The Aid and Attendance Benefit is paid in addition to any monthly pension benefit.
In order to qualify medically for the Aid and Attendance Benefit…
- The veteran must require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting himself or herself from the hazards of his/her daily environment; or
- The veteran must be bedridden, in that his or her disability or disabilities requires that he or she remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment; or
- The veteran must be a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity; or
- The veteran must be blind, or so nearly blind as to have corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less in both eyes, or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.
Veterans (or their surviving spouse) must also qualify financially in order to receive this benefit.
You may apply for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits by writing to the VA regional office with jurisdiction over the claim. That would be the office where you filed a claim for pension benefits. If the regional office of jurisdiction is not known, you may file the request with any regional VA office.
Expedited Processing of Social Security Disability Claims for Wounded Warriors
Military service members can receive expedited processing of disability claims from Social Security under the Wounded Warriors program. This expedited process is used for military service members who become disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurs.
To ensure that your application receives the expedited processing, apply online or at your local office. The expedited process applies at least through the hearing level with an administrative law judge. In some instances, a wounded warrior can have the decision on his or her benefits in half the time of a regularly processed application.
The benefits available through the Social Security Administration are different than those from VA. You must apply separately.
If New Orleans veterans, Metairie veterans, or any Louisiana veterans have questions about utilizing these two programs specifically available to them, please contact me.
THANK YOU AGAIN!!!