If you are a senior citizen and a military veteran, you may be interested in obtaining government help for your health care needs.

Perhaps you are thinking in terms of Medicaid, but the Aid and Attendance program for veterans is also available. These programs address different goals, and you must consider certain factors when you apply.

The deciding factor

If you want financial assistance for home nursing care or assisted living, A & A is a good choice. However, if you need help to pay for nursing home care, Medicaid will be the program to choose. Although A & A can provide you with nursing home financial support, the average benefit you would receive will be significantly less than the cost of care.

Your assets

There are different asset limits when you compare Medicaid to A & A, and the programs take different parameters into account when defining what constitutes an approved asset. However, there are ways to structure your assets so that you can qualify for either program, or both.

The marital considerations

While it is unusual for an individual to receive benefits from both Medicaid and Aid and Attendance simultaneously, you may find that you can have the best of both worlds if you are married. For example, your spouse might qualify for Medicaid while you, as a veteran, will receive approval for A & A financial support. 

The wait

Keep in mind that application processing time is lengthy. In the case of Medicaid, you will not see benefits for two or three months. The wait time for the A & A program is even more: It may take six months to one year before your application is even approved. Often, people seek assistance with the application process to ensure that they do not encounter any unnecessary delays from mistakes or omissions when they apply.