Is your loved one with Alzheimer’s a veteran or the widow of a veteran?  Did you know that there is roughly $12 Billion set aside for special Veteran’s benefit called Aid and Attendance each year, and that in some recent years as little as $3 Billion 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!  If your loved one is a veteran or the widow of a veteran, our free email course on veterans benefits could be extremely helpful for you.  If not, maybe you know someone who’s a veteran over the age of 65.  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 care.

Many people aren't aware about 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:

  • Recipients of the Medal of Honor
  • Honorably discharged veterans, surviving spouses, or children of any military, naval or air service
  • Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACs)
  • Merchant Marines from WWII (Ocean-going service)
  • US civilians of the American Field Service
  • Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs)
  • WWI Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators Unit
  • WWI Engineer Field Clerks
  • Female clerical employees of the Quartermaster Corps serving with the American
  • Expeditionary Forces in WWI
  • Civilian employees of Pacific naval air bases who actively participated in defense of Wake Island during WWII
  • Reconstruction aides and dietitians of WWI
  • Male civilian ferry pilots
  • Wake Island defenders from Guam
  • Civilian personnel assigned to OSS secret intelligence
  • Guam Combat Patrol
  • Quartermaster Corps members of the Keswick crew on Corregidor during WWII
  • U.S. civilians who participated in the defense of Bataan
  • U.S. merchant seamen who served on block ships in support of Operation Mulberry in the WWII invasion of Normandy
  • American merchant marines in oceangoing service during WWII
  • Civilian Navy IFF radar technicians who served in combat areas of the Pacific during WWI
  • U.S. civilians of the American Field Service who served overseas under U.S. armies and U.S. army groups in WWII
  • U.S. civilian employees of American Airlines who served overseas in contract with the Air Transport Command between 12/14/41 and 8/14/45
  • Civilian crewmen of certain U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey vessels between 12/7/41 and 8/15/45
  • Members of the American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers) who served between 12/7/41 and 8/14/45
  • U.S. civilian flight crew and aviation ground support of TWA who served overseas between 12/14/41 and 8/14/45
  • U.S. civilian flight crew and aviation ground support of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corp. who served overseas between 12/14/41 and 8/14/45
  • Honorably discharged members of the American Volunteer Guard, Eritrea Service Command, between 6/21/42 and 3/31/43
  • U.S. civilian flight crew and aviation ground support of Northwest Airlines who served overseas between 12/14/41 and 8/14/45
  • U.S. civilian female employees of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps who served in the defense of Bataan and Corregidor from 1/2/42 to 2/3/45
  • U.S. civilian flight crew and aviation ground support of Braniff Airways who served overseas in the North Atlantic between 2/26/42 to 8/14/45
  • Chamorro and Carolina former native police who received military training in the Donnal area of central Saipan and were placed under command of Lt. Casino of the 6th Provisional Military Police Battalion to accompany U.S. Marines on active, combat patrol from 8/19/45 to 9/2/45
  • The operational Analysis Group of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, Office of Emergency Management, which served overseas with the U.S. Army Air Corps from 12/7/41 through 8/15/45
  • Honorably discharged members of the Alaska Territorial Guard during WWII

Just remember 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 the time frame. 

Jackie Bedard
Connect with me
Attorney, Author, and Founder of Carolina Family Estate Planning