Activities of Daily Living – The key to the Aid & Attendance Benefit is based on the medical needs a Claimant requires. If a Veteran, Spouse or Widow requires the aid and assistance of someone for their medical needs, they may qualify for the Aid & Attendance Benefit.
Assistance with daily living (ADL’s) includes medication management, meal preparation, assistance with feeding, help with bathing, dressing, walking, and getting in and out of a chair or bed. If memory issues are prevalent, daily reminders for the ADL’s mentioned may also be considered. If the Claimant has loss of vision or hearing and/or a history of falling, it is important to include these issues in the file. They are considered very important to the VA. It’s sad to say but the more ADL’s required, the quicker claims get approved.
Depending on the severity of need, no less than two ADL’s are required. The more, the better! Please keep in mind that a medical physician must complete forms that discuss these needs in detail. The Doctor must confirm that the Claimant requires this type of care and specifically indicate whether the care is provided at home or in an assisted community.
In home care is often provided by a child or children. This is completely acceptable. The Caregiver does not have to be a licensed professional. From time to time, children provide additional care even when the Claimant resides in an assisted community. This too needs to be noted when completing paperwork. Should the Claimant have more than one physician that addresses certain needs specifically, it helps to have them complete separate medical forms and provide a set of records documenting these needs.
The medical forms required by the Doctor are extremely important and the language used is critical. We review all medical forms to be certain they are completed properly. We’re happy to discuss their content with the medical physician or staff and work with them to be sure the forms are done correctly the first time.
Medical records are always helpful. They need to include the above mentioned ADL’s and often times provide an ongoing record that substantiates the Doctor’s medical forms. Keep in mind that if the Claimant is disabled through either Social Security or the VA, they must still require aid and assistance for their medical needs. We find that often time’s people are declared disabled but are still very independent. These individuals will not qualify for the Benefit at this time.