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Veterans Administration & Long-Term Care 
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Home Health Care

VA provides for free health care for conditions related to military service and for Veterans with catastrophic disabilities and disability ratings of at least 50%, as well as for those who can't afford to pay for care.

Veteran Care settings may include:
  • Nursing homes

  • Assisted-living centers

  • Private homes where a caregiver supports a small group of individuals

  • Adult day health centers

  • Veterans’ own homes

You can learn more about the different types of care below or see our guide to long-term services and supports.

Am I eligible for VA health care benefits? You may be eligible for VA health care benefits if you served in the active military, naval, or air service and didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge.

​Many veterans and their spouses are eligible for VA pensions that can subsidize their living and long-term care expenditures. ​ There are three separate yet aggregate VA pension programs available to veterans: ​ Veterans Pension, Aid & Attendance Pension and the Housebound Pension. ​ These benefits are stacked, therefore you need to qualify for the Veterans Pension in order to qualify for the enhanced Aid & Attendance Pension or Housebound Pension, both of which have additional functional/health care requirements. ​ Various pension programs are also available to surviving spouses of eligible veterans. Basic Veterans Pension: ​ This is a need-based program that provides eligible wartime veterans and their families with Tax-Free supplemental income each month and may be used however the recipients chooses. There are essentially no restrictions once he/she becomes eligible to receive the funds. However, Wartime Services Requirements are: ​ The veteran must have:

Started on active duty before September 8, 1980, and served at least 90 days on active duty with at least one day during wartime, OR Started on active duty as an enlisted person after September 7, 1980, and served at least 24 months or the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty (with some exceptions) with at least one day during wartime, OR

Been an officer who started on active duty after October 16, 1981, and hadn’t previously served on active duty for at least 24 months

Wartime Services: Mexican Border period: May 9, 1916–April 5, 1917, for veterans who served in Mexico, on its borders or in adjacent waters

World War I: April 6, 1917–November 11, 1918

World War II: December 7, 1941–December 31, 1946

Korean conflict: June 27, 1950–January 31, 1955

Vietnam War era: February 28, 1961–May 7, 1975, for veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; August 5, 1964–May 7, 1975, for veterans who served outside the Republic of Vietnam

Gulf War: August 2, 1990, through a future date to be set by law or presidential proclamation.

Age & Disability Requirements ​ A veteran with qualifying wartime service must also meet at least one of the following criteria:

Be at least 65 years old, OR

Have a permanent and total disability, OR

Be receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI

Be a patient in a nursing home for long-term care because of a disability.

Financial Requirements

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