Veteran’s Benefits

Too often a veteran or his or her survivor is unaware of the various benefits to which he or she may be entitled.  Benefits to veterans delivered by the Department of Veterans Affairs include low or no cost health care, disability compensation, pension, burial and assistance to widows and dependents.

The pension is a needs-based program that provides financial assistance to certain eligible veterans who meet the income and asset limitations and who are found to be totally and permanently disabled.

Also, many veterans are unaware that disability benefits are available to them.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs provides financial help to wartime veterans who need long term care.  This benefit is called the “AID AND ATTENDANCE” benefit.  It also helps spouses, widows, and widowers of those veterans.

TO BENEFIT FROM OUR HELP TO OBTAIN THE “AID AND ATTENDANCE” BENEFIT A CLIENT SHOULD:

  • Be a wartime veteran, or the spouse, widow, or widower of one
  • Need care at home or in an assisted living facility
  • Have less than 80,000 in assets

Planning can avoid problems such as application denial, Medicaid ineligibility, loss of assets, or other problems.

Help to pay for care at home or in an assisted living facility is given if you qualify for aid and attendance benefits.

Veterans Benefit Pension Maximum for Aid and Attendance

  • Veteran & Spouse $25,448
  • Veteran $21,486
  • Surviving Spouse 13,794

In addition to the above we can also assist with service-connected disability compensation claims.

To qualify for the veteran benefits the veteran must have served at least 90 days active duty, including at least one day during a recognized wartime period:

  • WWII 12-7-1941 to 12-31-1946
  • Korean War 6-27-1950 to 1-31-1955
  • Vietnam War 2-28-1961 to 5-7-1975
  • Vietnam Era 8-5-1964 to 5-7-1975
  • Persian Gulf 8-2-1990 to Present

The veteran must not have received a dishonorable discharge.

If the applicant is a widow or widower, he or she must have been living with the veteran when the veteran died (unless separation was due to medical or military reasons).

The applicant must require the aid of another person on a regular basis.

The allowable medical expenses must exceed house hold income.  Someone requiring care at home or in assisted living often meets this requirement.

Generally the asset level cannot exceed $80,000 for a veteran, spouse and dependents all together (the primary residential home, one car and personal belongings are not counted).  The VA may also make a determination based on countable assets, income, and medical expenses over the applicant’s life expectancy.  Calculating both ways is the best way to determine the eligibility.

If you meet the above qualifications you may apply on your own, or with the help of your local county VA office.

You should contact an attorney experienced in elder law and veterans benefits if your assets are above $80,000.  You may qualify for the “aid and attendance” benefit with estate and financial planning.  This planning is not easy and if not done properly you could encounter difficulties such as delay or denial because of a mistake and asset transfers could cause ineligibility for Medicaid in coming years.

Many times clients will find with help from an elder law  that they are eligible for veteran benefits that they did not previously consider.