Winter 2006 Edition NJDMAVA Veterans

About NJ Veteran Journal:
The New Jersey Veteran Journal is an official publication of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and is intended to serve New Jersey's veterans, their families, friends and concerned individuals and groups. All correspondence should be sent to the editor at:

Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

Little known VA Benefit Helps Disabled

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is reaching out to inform wartime veterans and surviving spouses of deceased wartime veterans about an under-used, special monthly pension benefit called Aid and Attendance.

Although this is not a new program, not everyone is aware of his or her potential eligibility. The Aid and Attendance pension benefit may be available to wartime veterans and surviving spouses who have in-home care or who live in nursing-homes or assisted-living facilities.

Many elderly veterans and surviving spouses whose incomes are above the congressionally mandated legal limit for a VA pension may still be eligible for the special monthly Aid and Attendance benefit if they have large medical expenses, including nursing home expenses, for which they do not receive reimbursement.

The basic criteria for the Aid and Attendance benefit include the inability to feed oneself, to dress and undress without assistance, or to take care of one’s own bodily needs. People who are bedridden or need help to adjust special prosthetic or orthopedic devices may also be eligible, as well as those who have a physical or mental injury or illness that requires regular assistance to protect them from hazards or dangers in their daily environment.

For a wartime veteran or surviving spouse to qualify, the veteran must have served at least 90 days of active military service, one day of which was during a period of war, and be discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Wartime veterans who entered active duty on or after Sept. 8, 1980, (Oct. 16, 1981, for officers) must have completed at least 24 continuous months of military service or the period for which they were ordered to active duty.

If all requirements are met, VA determines eligibility for the Aid and Attendance benefit by adjusting for un-reimbursed medical expenses from the veteran’s or surviving spouse’s total household income. If the remaining income amount falls below the annual income threshold for the Aid and Attendance benefit, VA pays the difference.

The Aid and Attendance income threshold for a veteran without dependents is now $18,234 annually. The threshold increases to $21,615 if a veteran has one dependent, and by $1,866 for each additional dependent. The annual Aid and Attendance threshold for a surviving spouse alone is $11,715. This threshold increases to $13,976 if there is one dependent child, and by $1,866 for each additional child.

Additional information and assistance in applying for the Aid and Attendance benefit may be obtained by calling 1-800-827-1000. Applications may be submitted on-line at

Vet receives medal at Gala
Ocean County Donation
Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth (right), The Adjutant General of New Jersey awards the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal to Chief Warrant Officer Mickey McGuire (left), an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran at the annual “Salute to Patriotism” gala at the Vietnam Era Educational Center and the nearby Robert B. Meyner Reception Center in Holmdel on Nov. 30. The gala helped raise more than $40,000 to help toward funding educational programming at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial and the Vietnam Era Educational Center. Photo by Roman Martyniuk.

400 attend candlelighting ceremony
Approximately 400 people attended Holiday Lighting ceremony at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Holmdel on Dec. 9.

The event was designed to not only remember the holidays soon to come, but to remember the men and women who cannot be with us today to celebrate the holidays, because they were killed or became missing in action.

The ceremony began with a welcome address by John LeGates, President of the Vietnam Veterans of America, New Jersey State Council. After various presentations on the holidays, a group of children touched the Christmas tree to help it “magically” light up. This was followed up by a procession into the heart of the Memorial for the presentation of wreaths was led by Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 800 Color Guard.