Is your loved one with Alzheimer’s a veteran or the widow of a veteran? Have you recently asked yourself, “what veterans’ benefits are available to me?” Did you know that there is roughly $12B set aside for a special Veterans benefit called Aid and Attendance each year and that in some recent years, as little as $3B has been claimed by vets and their families? 

Many veterans and their widows are eligible for a monthly pension of around $1,000 to $2,000 per month to pay for in-home, assisted living, or nursing home care – and they have no idea! I encourage you to pass along this information to any friends or family members who love a veteran or veteran’s widow over age 65 who needs help to pay for the care they rightfully deserve, especially given their sacrifice.

Many people aren't aware of the variety of little-known groups whose members may be eligible for VA benefits. It’s a long list, and frankly, it may make your head spin!  I'm sure you want to know: what if my mom or dad wasn't in the army or the navy? Who exactly is covered by these benefits, and who qualifies as a wartime veteran?

Well, if your loved one served in a lesser-known area of the military, then take a look at the list below. In addition to active duty vets from the armed services, these little-known groups also meet the active duty qualification for VA benefits. 

If you or your loved one belong to any of these groups and received a discharge by the Secretary of Defense, your service meets the active duty service requirement for benefits:

  • Campaign medal recipients
  • Medal of Honor recipients
  • Honorably discharged veterans of any branch, including surviving spouses and children
  • Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACs) and Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs)
  • Merchant Marines from WWII
  • US civilians of the American Field Service
  • Expeditionary Forces in WWI
  • Civilian employees of Pacific naval air bases who actively participated in defense of Wake Island during WWII
  • Male civilian ferry pilots
  • Wake Island defenders from Guam
  • Civilian personnel assigned to OSS secret intelligence
  • Guam Combat Patrol
  • Full list of eligible wartime personnel can be found here

To qualify for these benefits, your loved one must have served in active duty for 90 consecutive days, at least one day of which was during a period of war. However, this doesn't mean they had to have served overseas... they just had to serve, either at home or abroad, during a period of war.