VA Aid & Attendance Benefit
The VetAssist Program helps those veterans or their surviving spouses who choose to apply for a little-known benefit from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and use the benefit primarily for in-home care or adult daycare. The benefit is called “Aid and Attendance.”
The maximum benefit amount for a veteran who does not have a spouse or dependent child is $23,238 / year ($1,936 / month). The maximum benefit amount for a married veteran is $27,549 / year ($2,295 / month)
NOTICE: On October 18, 2018, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amended the rules regarding eligibility for VA pension. These new rules will change VA planning drastically and go into effect on October 18, 2018.
Any assets transferred before this date will not be subject to the 36 month look-back period. Nor will the asset limit be applicable. Because of this, it is extremely important to pursue VA pension planning before October 18, 2018. With an effective date less than one month away, now is a critical time to reach out to your clients and referral sources to inform them of these changes.
New VA Rulings on applying for Aid & Attendance Pension:
Assets Limit: $123,600
Net worth includes monthly income
Monthly income x 12 and added to certain assets
Medical expenses deducted from income
Look Back & Penalty Period (3 yrs (36 mo)
Penalty period assessed on asset transfers made during 3 year look-back (Applicant can return assets and un-do penalty period (whole/part) by 60 days of penalty period).
Property – Excluded.....
Acreage limit – resident 2 acres excluded. Additional acreage will be counted towards net worth unless unmarketable!
Medical Expenses may be excluded if meeting the following:
Receiving medical care by meeting 2 out of the 5 requirements
Care in an Assisting Living Facility, Alzheimer Facility or Residential Care Home (private expenses) (24 hr nursing care)
Level of Care: Bathing, Dressing, Transfer from bed to wheelchair, help with feeding, giving medication, driving.
This new ruling has not been voted upon and the VA is trying to do a 3-year look back ….treating your “right” to get compensation and Aid/Attendance to help offset your medical care at home or in a Skilled Nursing/Assisted Living Community as a Medicaid program. Contact your State Representatives and have them “look” into this new Ruling.
Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to Pension
Since Aid and Attendance and Housebound allowances increase the pension amount, people who are not eligible for a basic pension due to excessive income may be eligible for pension at these increased rates. A Veteran or surviving spouse may not receive Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time.
Aid & Attendance (A&A)
The Aid & Attendance (A&A) increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount if you meet one of the following conditions:
You require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment
You are bedridden, in that your disability or disabilities requires that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment
You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity
Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less
This increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount when you are substantially confined to your immediate premises because of permanent disability.
How to Apply
You may apply for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits by writing to the Pension Management Center (PMC) that serves your state. You may also visit your local regional benefit office to file your request. You can locate your local regional benefit office using the VA Facility Locator.
You should include copies of any evidence, preferably a report from an attending physician validating the need for Aid and Attendance or Housebound type care.
The report should be in sufficient detail to determine whether there is disease or injury producing physical or mental impairment, loss of coordination, or conditions affecting the ability to dress and undress, to feed oneself, to attend to sanitary needs, and to keep oneself ordinarily clean and presentable.
Whether the claim is for Aid and Attendance or Housebound, the report should indicate how well the applicant gets around, where the applicant goes, and what he or she is able to do during a typical day. In addition, it is necessary to determine whether the claimant is confined to the home or immediate premises.
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