two male war veterans wearing their military capThe National Council for Aging Care reports that 9.3 million US armed services veterans were of retirement age in 2015. Many of them have served in one or more wartime periods, like World War II (1939-1945), the Korean War (1950-1953), the Vietnam War (1955-1975), and the Persian Gulf War (1990-1991).

For their bravery and voluntary service to protect the American way of life, elderly veterans in Utah and elsewhere in the United States may apply or disability benefits and financial aid. They also enjoy special considerations like modified requirements for certain US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) assistance programs.

Shorter Service Term Requirements

Senior veterans who entered active duty earlier than September 7, 1980, and had served at least 90 days of active duty may qualify for a Supplemental Income for Wartime Veterans. If they also served at least one day of service during a wartime period, their spouses and children could also become eligible for Survivor’s Pension upon their death.

The required period of service for veterans who enlisted after September 7, 1980 is higher at 24 months.

With 1980 as the cutoff year for the 90-day active duty requirement, veterans picked in the last US military draft would be of retirement age today.

In 1973, the final year of the US military draft, the average age of military personnel was 25 years old. That generation of veterans is turning 70 years old this year.

Additional Monetary Benefits

Elderly veterans are also entitled to apply for two monetary benefits on top of their VA Pension.

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First is the Aid and Attendance (A&A) benefit, which is a supplemented monthly pension. Veterans may apply for it if they are:

– Bedridden;

– Staying in a nursing home as a patient;

– In need of other people’s assistance for every-day activities like bathing, dressing, and eating; or

– If both their eyes have a corrected distance vision of 5/200 or concentric contraction of five degrees or less.

The second is the Housebound benefit, which is also an increased monthly pension for elderly veterans who have a permanent disability and are therefore unable to spend much time outside their homes.

The Utah Department of Veterans & Military Affairs ensures that veterans and their families have access to the benefits they justly deserve. They simply need to find an accredited VA attorney who can help them file their applications and coach them on how to increase their chances of qualifying for VA benefits.