Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Veteran's Benefits: A Window of Opportunity
Veteran’s benefits for Aid and Attendance (known as "pension") can be invaluable for a qualifying veteran or the widow of a qualifying veteran. This benefit can be up to $1,949 a month for a married veteran, and up to $1,644 per month for a single veteran, up to $1,056 per month for a surviving spouse. The program currently has very favorable terms for a person seeking to qualify for this benefit. However, this window may close at some time in the not too distant future. The General Accounting Office (GAO) has released a report suggesting that Congress should make changes to this program. The suggested changes include establishing a look back and penalty period for claimant who gift assets in order to qualify, similar to Medicaid rules. Currently, the VA rules are much less strict. Veteran’s benefits for Aid and Attendance can be particularly helpful to someone requiring care in an assisted living facility or when receiving expensive care at home. As elder law attorneys, we can help a veteran or a surviving spouse determine if they are eligible for such a benefit and what they can do to become qualified. Anyone who thinks they might be able to qualify for such a benefit would be wise to look into this promptly while the law is still very Veteran- friendly.