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Veterans invited to learn more about assisted living benefit

By Kim Walter

Dutch Haven Assisted Living and Heartland Hospice are joining together to educate local veterans and their families on the Aid and Attendance Improved Pension.

At 2 p.m. Wednesday, any area veterans and their loved ones are invited to Dutch Haven Assisted Living in Maurertown for a free presentation and question and answer session on the benefits.

Linda Kurtz, marketing director for Dutch Haven, said the Assisted Living Aid and Attendance benefit has been around for quite some time, yet there are still plenty of veterans who don't know about it.

She said the center is trying to hold more informational events for community members.

"I think those of us who are in the senior market want to be more resourceful and collaborative," Kurtz said. "We heard some of our seniors and veterans talking about this particular benefit, but they had a lot of questions. So, we decided to pull together and share what we know."

Dutch Haven hosted a similar event in the past, but it was several years ago. Kurtz said now seemed like a good time to "spread the word."

The Aid and Attendance pension provides benefits for veterans and surviving spouses who require regular attendance of another person to assist in basic daily tasks. It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of a mental or physical incapacity.

Care in an assisted living facility is also included.

Any wartime veteran with 90 days of active duty, one day beginning or ending during a period of war, along with a surviving spouse, is eligible to apply for the Aid and Attendance Improved Pension. The individual applying must qualify both medically and financially.

To qualify financially, an applicant must have on average less than $80,000 in assets, excluding their home and vehicles.

The 2013 maximum benefit levels can provide up to $1,732 per month to a veteran, $1,113 per month to a surviving spouse, or $2,054 per month to a couple. A Veteran filing with a sick spouse is eligible for up to $1,360 per month.

Eligible individuals can sign up for the benefit at any time.

Kurtz said she hopes that eligible people from surrounding counties will attend -- even interested family members of veterans.

"Any time you can learn about a new benefit or way to help pay for care, you should," he said. "There are a lot of helpful pensions like this that can be overlooked, but they can make a big difference."

Contact Kurtz at 540-327-3083 for more information.

Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or kwalter@nvdaily.com

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