Are you a veteran who is 65 or older or are you the surviving spouse of a veteran and have not remarried? If so, are you no longer able to perform normal tasks such as eating on your own, dressing or bathing? Are you suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia and no longer able to care for yourself? Did you know that benefits may be available to you?
If you said no, you’re not alone. Recent estimates indicate that fewer than 10% of those eligible ever receive the benefit. Many people aren’t aware of it. Others can’t get through the red tape. For those receiving the benefit, it can be a lifesaver. The Aid and Attendance benefit offered by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (the VA) may be available to a veteran, the spouse of a veteran, and even a surviving spouse of a veteran. This benefit is available even if other VA benefits are already in place and could mean additional income to pay for much-needed long-term care.
To qualify, the veteran must have served at least 90 days of active military service. At least one day of this service must have been during a period of war, but the veteran does not have to have been in combat or even have service related injuries. The veteran’s discharge cannot be under dishonorable conditions and there are income and asset limitations.
To determine eligibility, the VA considers income, but they will allow deductions for certain medical expenses. Often this causes a discrepancy in actual income (what you make) versus countable income (what’s left after allowable deductions). In other words, you may be eligible if you have been told otherwise. In addition, the VA does not currently have the severe look-back period that Medicaid does. While there are limits on assets, opportunities exist to both protect assets and preserve your eligibility for benefits.
If your loved one is a veteran, the spouse of a veteran, or the surviving spouse of a veteran and could use assistance in planning to help meet anticipated costs for long-term care, assisted living or even assistance in the home, give the VA-accredited attorneys at AlerStallings a call. Our staff will assist you in determining eligibility for benefits and in the planning opportunities that go along with receipt of those benefits. Call us at 877-912-3464 to schedule an appointment.