Paying a family member for home care services

In order to qualify for the maximum VA aid and attendance benefit, a claimant must be using all of their income on the cost of care. Given that many veterans and spouses live with family members, the responsibility of providing home care often falls to sons, daughters or grandchildren.

The VA permits applicants to pay a family member or friend for home care. The family member or friend does not need to be a licensed nurse or home care professional. So long as the veteran or spouse requires assistance with activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, or requires a protected environment, the VA will count the assistance as a medical expense.

The process of paying a family member for care is identical to paying a home care agency. The home care provider statement and worksheet (found in VA Form 21P-527 EZ or 21P-534 EZ) must still be completed. auto-fills these forms for you.

Even though the VA rarely requests proof of services beyond the above two forms, we recommend that the person applying pay the family caregiver with a monthly check. On the check, you can make a note that funds are for homecare services. Please remember, in order to remain eligible for VA benefits, the veteran or spouse must pay the care provider every month for the services and care.

For families that think the veteran or spouse may need to apply for Medicaid benefits in the future, consider doing the following:

  • Create a contract/agreement that details the services to be provided, the cost of the services, and the time spent providing the services. Both parties to the contract can sign and date.
  • Have the caregiver keep a log of the services provided, the date the services were provided, and the time spent providing the services.

The above two ideas are not necessary to apply for and receive VA aid and attendance benefits.