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Aid and Attendance - often misunderstood

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I saw here recently someone stated that A & A is only awarded for vets on a wartime pension….but now cannot find that post….

Aid and attendance is available for SC vets as well.And even for some of their spouses/ surviving spouses.

The link from Hill and Ponton here on the main hadit page explains it:


The criteria from the link is :

“One of the most common types of SMC benefits is aid and attendance (A&A).  A&A benefits can be awarded to veterans needing daily assistance in reference to the following:

·       Inability to dress/undress

·       Inability to maintain personal hygiene

·       Inability to feed oneself

·       Inability to prevent oneself from hazard/danger”


This is a CUE for A & A--- and A & A was awarded back to 1989:




As there was CUE in the May 1989 Board decision which denied

restoration of special monthly compensation based on the need

for regular aid and attendance, the motion for reversal of

that decision is granted. 

As there was CUE in the May 1989 Board decision which denied 
restoration of special monthly compensation based on the need 
for regular aid and attendance, the motion for reversal of 
that decision is granted.”


20 years of retro A & A is a nice chunk of change.

This was a Motion of CUE against a prior BVA decision.

This  Aid and  Attendance award to a service connected veteran is  more recent and the criteria in detail for A & A:


In some cases, the spouse of a living  service connected veteran is eligible for Aid and Attendance:

In part from this decision:

“Special Monthly Compensation


SMC is awarded when a Veteran's spouse is 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; is a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity; or establishes a factual need for aid and attendance.  See 38 U.S.C.A. § 1115(l)(E) (West 2014); 38 C.F.R. § 3.351(c)(3) (2016). 


A person shall be considered to be in need of regular aid and attendance if that person is (1) a patient in a nursing home or (2) blind, or so nearly blind or significantly disabled as to need or require the regular aid and attendance of another person.  38 U.S.C.A. § 1502(b) (West 2014); 38 C.F.R. § 3.350(b) (2016).”

(the key word  there is a "person"  ,not specifically a 'veteran' ,and does not eliminate spouses of living veterans or surviving spouses.... my note here to explain the regulation)


The spouse ,in this case , was denied A & A, but my point is that A & A can apply to many individuals, if they fulfill the A & A criteria.

This case is an accrued award of A & A to the surviving spouse , for the veteran:


"As SMC by reason of the need for regular aid and attendance of another person is a greater monthly benefit than SMC by reason of being housebound and SMC based on the need for regular aid and attendance has been granted, a discussion of SMC based on being housebound is unnecessary. 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 1114(l), (s) (2014). ORDER Service connection for bladder cancer, status post-transurethral resection of bladder tumor, is denied. Service connection for the cause of the Veteran's death is denied. Entitlement to an initial disability rating of 100 percent for a psychiatric disorder, including schizophrenia prior to August 3, 2010, is granted. Entitlement to DIC benefits under 38 U.S.C. § 1318 is granted. SMC based on the need for regular aid and attendance of another person is granted. "



This award is to a widow who gets DIC: (surviving spouse of a service connected veteran)




Entitlement to an effective date of October 1, 2006 for the grant of a higher rate of DIC based on the need for aid and attendance is granted.”


My point is that A & A is often misunderstood and probably half of the vet reps out there don't have a clue on it.

We must be the best vet rep we will ever have.




This is an award of A & A to a surviving spouse who receives Wartime pension:




Edited by Berta
added more info
  • Thanks 1

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I was discussing one of my client's claims for a much higher SMC with a senior Seattle DRO who is now the Point of Contact for attorneys/agents recently. He said he had no idea how it worked. He was at the mercy of the M 21 and depended on it to make the determination. Lord help us when the HAL 9000 becomes the de facto arbiter of Veterans Compensation but sadly, it has. It's a very difficult concept and even permits pyramiding to attain r(1)/r(2). It's my favorite kind of claim to win.

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SMC, A and A, housebound, is misunderstood for a reason:  It gives them reasons to deny, and, for the small percent of Vets who do appeal, its still no guarantee of a win.  

Even in the regulations for A and A, they are mixed up in compensation and pension, so that Vets can not figure out if they are eligible or not.  

Of course, there are "2" A and A's and 2 "housebounds"...one for compensation and one for pension.  Its unclear if the criteria for both are the same or not.  

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This Link may provide some Answers. between the Two    separate SMPs Entitlements. As in HB or A&A

Check out the CAVC Decision on age  turning 65


http://www.purpleheart.org/ServiceProgram/Training2013/17-W-Chandler - Bradley-Maria.pdf


Edited by Buck52

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    Thank you for that wealth of information in your amazing link.  Im busy right now, but will take time to analyze this as it seems very applicable to my situation.  

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