I've been sitting and reading through this forum for about an hour deciding if I should post and where. This question is an excellent place to start. I can't thank NBC Nightly News and VeteranAid enough for the information I and my sister learned this past Feb. ('07). It was after one of the NBC News programs on adult children helping aging parents that the A & A benefit was mentioned. I followed the link on their web page to VeteranAid, and am so glad that I did so. My father was a WW II veteran, and he and my mother have lived in assisted living since the spring of 2004. He passed away in Oct. '04, and my mother continued to live in assisted living. Not being a wealthy family by any means, the proceeds from the sale of their home, their savings, IRA's, and small investments have been greatly consumed by the $ 2,500 to $ 3,000 a month facility charges. We were in the process of moving our mother from one facility to another when I read about the A & A benefit. I had talked to some one from the VA in Ft. Wayne, IN the year before about this benefit but he did not know that the monthly fee for assisted living was a countable expense itself. After reading all of the information on this site, I contacted my county's Service Officer. He knew about this pension benefit, and that it did pay for assisted living fees. Since my mother was moving out of county, he directed me to that county's Service Officer. After talking to that Officer, he was not sure if the facility she lives in would be considered "assisted living" by the VA as she lives in a portion of the facility termed "independent living". This is part of a large facility housing skilled care, Alzheimer's care, assisted living, and independent living. BUT, she gets and uses the services that would be considered "assisted care" by most any one. She does not require direct hands on care, but can not cook for herself, could not live alone, can not live with any of her children as she really requires some one being near by in case of a fall, etc. In this facility she receives all of her meals, has housekeeping provided, they do all of her laundry, has 24/7 nursing care available if needed, access to family physicians, etc. So, "we" (my sister and I ) decided it was worth a shot to apply. (Even though the Service Officer thought it would be a long shot). He and his secretary helped us get the correct forms. (I downloaded them from here after I knew which # form we needed to use.) She worked on the forms this summer. I helped her get copies of the needed documents, and worked on getting letters from all of her doctors to document "need" to be in assisted living. (She is 85yrs old, is legally blind in one eye, has no real grip strength in her hands, a torn rotator cuff on her dominate side, loss of balance that puts her at a risk for serious falls, on & on.) I took a copy of the VA's own press release about the A & A benefit with the most important parts highlighted to each of her several doctors. (Primary care, neurologist, ophthalmologist, orthopedic surgeon) In that VA press release I highlighted this portion of the "basic criteria": " 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 environments." All of the physician's statements pointed out her diagnoses, and limitation very clearly. Each one of the doctors stated that she either required or would benefit from living in assisted living. The application itself asks if the applicants vision is limited. I also got a statement from the facility she lives in stating the services she receives on a routine basis, and the other services like nursing care, doctors, etc. that she can use if needed. I took the application to the Service Officer and his secretary in September. They corrected a couple of couple of items, and helped in fill in expense section. He also had my mother sign a form making him a power of attorney of sorts in order to follow up on any questions, or problems after the application was submitted. He mailed the application to a state of Indiana American Legion office in Indianapolis. I guess that AL office is recognized by the VA as a "Service Office" and is able to submit applications to the VA for a veteran or his/her spouse. Within a few days of that, my mother received notification that the AL had submitted the application. It noted the form #, and each of the attachments (documents, and letters). The local Service Officer told us it could be 6 to 12 months before we might hear any thing about the approval / denial. The Good News -- About a week before Christmas she received a letter from the AL in Indianapolis stating that the VA " will soon approve your pending application." !!! It instructed her to contact that office or the local Service Officer if she has not gotten a letter from the VA within 4 weeks. So, it's only taken the VA a little more than 3 months to review and approve her application. She is still "skeptical" , and will only "believe it when she sees it". But, I read the Legion's letter again, as has my sister. The Service Officer has also been sent a copy of it. It's short and to the point. "will soon approve". I'll let you know when we get the actual award letter. I'm just sure that having all of the documents together, and having worked with the local Service Officer were both important factors in the VA being able to approve it this quickly. This Service Officer and his secretary were very thorough in reviewing the application. I think having the American Legion in Indianapolis review and submit the application was helpful. I'm sure if any one there had found some thing missing, we would have been asked for the document or information before they submitted it to the VA. <--- Fingers crossed, and waiting to hear my mom's voice when she calls to read the VA's approval notice.