Happy Memorial Day: Are Additional Aid and Attendance Benefits Around the Corner?

Fun Memorial Day Facts

The Farr Law Firm wishes you and yours a Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  Monday is Memorial Day, and we would like to take this opportunity to say “Thank You” to our many friends, colleagues, and peers who have made sacrifices to ensure our freedom and principles.

Here are a few fun facts* you may not have known about Memorial Day:

  • Memorial Day was officially declared on May 5th, 1868 by General John Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic.
  • The first state to officially recognize Memorial Day was New York in 1873.
  • Soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small flags at each of the over 260,000 headstones at Arlington National Cemetery.  This has been taking place since the 1950’s.
  • Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis place flags on 150,000 burial places at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
  • You can thank Congress (’71) for your three day weekend.  Memorial Day has been a federal holiday since passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971.
  • In 1988, 2,500 motorcyclists traveled to Washington, D.C. for the first ever Rolling Thunder demonstration.  By 2005, the numbers swelled to a half-million riders.

There is some related news worthy of mention:

The Honoring All Veterans Act of 2011 – introduced yesterday by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) –seeks to improve health care, education, employment, and housing for veterans.  “Our military men and women have kept their promises to our country, and now we must keep faith with them, not only in words but in deeds,” said Blumenthal.

For some couples, aid and attendance benefits may increase.  The Bill passed the House May 23rd and will need to pass the Senate next.   The legislation seems to be on the fast track to becoming law.  GovTrack reports, “the vote was held under a suspension of the rules to cut debate short and pass the bill, needing a two-thirds majority . . . [usually reserved] . . . for non-controversial legislation. The totals were 380 Ayes, 0 Nays.”

The aid and attendance benefit would be increased for disabled veterans who are married to one another.

The Department of Veterans Affairs would gain a new source of key medical personnel through the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU).

The Veterans Administration would seek to remedy substance abuse by using data from state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP).

An Independent Board would review DOD/VA transition problems including benefits.

“Our nation must keep faith with men and women who serve and sacrifice for our freedom. Unfortunately and unconscionably, America is still failing them and their families by tolerating unemployment, homelessness and inadequate health care,” said Blumenthal.

“This legislation comes from listening to and working with veterans and their families. While the Honoring All Veterans Act addresses many critical needs, it is only an opening salvo in a sustained, unceasing campaign to ensure that no veteran is left behind. It is a down payment on a larger debt,” said Blumenthal, according to “Our military men and women have kept their promises to our country, and now we must keep faith with them, not only in words but in deeds.”

*Fun Facts Source(s):

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.