Defining Housebound Pension
Housebound pension is an enhanced monthly benefit for veterans who are confined in their residence due to permanent disability. Housebound veterans also include those who are confined in a nursing home or assisted living facility and those who are able to leave their residence but are dependent on the assistance of another person.
To be able to make a Housebound claim, veterans must first establish their eligibility for basic pension with the VA. Receiving basic pension largely depends on income. Veterans who exceed the income limit and are disqualified from receiving basic pension, may still avail of enhanced pension like housebound.
Second, a veteran must provide medical proof for needing assistance due to their disability.
Filing a Claim
Veterans can claim Housebound benefits by filing their application either in person at their VA regional office or through registered mail by completing the following steps –
- Fill out VA Form 21-2680 (Examination for Housebound Status or Permanent Need for Regular Aid and Attendance) and mail it to their state’s Pension Management Center. Note that the veteran’s primary care provider can complete the section on examination information.
- Include other documentation (such as a note from their primary care provider) as evidence of needing housebound care including details about the veteran’s daily routine – how they get from place to place, and details on how their illness, injury, or disability impacts their ability to do things on their own.
Once a claim for Housebound benefits has been filed, the timeline for the VA to make a decision about a claim varies. Claims are processed in the order they are received, but some claims may require priority processing and may be processed more quickly.
If a veteran’s spouse also meets the qualifications of being housebound, the spouse may also be able to apply for Improved Pension Benefit.
Veterans can receive a Housebound rating after being examined by a physician. A Housebound rating is required for a veteran to be able to deduct certain medical expenses including: Home Care, Assisted Living, and additional Non-Medical expenses such as hygiene supplies, eyeglasses, diet supplements, etc.
Once a veteran gets a “Housebound” rating, the VA will allow the veteran to deduct all fees paid to a non-licensed, in-home attendant, as long as the attendant provides “custodial services” or assistance with at least two of the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). The VA considers the following activities ADLs:
- Getting dressed
- Showering or bathing
- Cooking and feeding themselves
- Going to the restroom
- Transferring from the bed to a chair or wheelchair
- Mobility and transportation
Maximum Annual Pension Rte (MAPR)
Generally, Housebound benefits allow veterans to receive a higher amount each month from the VA to cover their needs. The amount that a veteran can receive in Housebound benefits depends on a number of factors. The different rates are below:
- Veterans who qualify for Housebound benefits and have no dependents can receive a Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR) of $16,805
- Veterans who qualify for Housebound benefits and have at least one dependent can receive a MAPR rate of $21,063
- Veterans receive an additional $2,351 for each of their dependents
Once you’ve determined that you might qualify for VA Pension and/or Housebound Benefits, book your free consultation meeting with our team at Crider Law and we’ll help you apply for the benefits that you so rightfully deserve for your service.
Whether it’s your first time to file a claim, pursuing an appeal or just want to learn more about your rights and entitlements under the VA pension program, we will support you every step of the way.