As Veterans age, they must face many long-term care and elder law issues, such as finding ways to pay for home care, assisted living or nursing home care. While Medicaid may pay for nursing home stays, it may not pay for assisted living or home care. This is where the Veterans Administration Pension or also called the Aid & Attendance program can benefit a family.
Through proper planning, a family can bring upwards of $2,000 per month into the family of a married veteran, around $1,700 for a single veteran, and around $1100 for the surviving spouse of a veteran. However, there are certain rules and hurdles to receiving the benefit.
The program benefits Veterans who need assistance with basic daily activities such as bathing, eating, or dressing. To qualify for the benefit a veteran must have served 90 days of active duty, one day during a period of war, and then meet an income test and an asset test. The periods of war that a veteran must have served one day during include World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf conflict.
The asset test for a veteran, or the surviving spouse of a veteran, is just a general guideline. The general guidelines are that a married couple must have less than $80,000 in countable assets while a single veteran or surviving spouse of a veteran must have less than $40,000 in countable assets. These figures can be adjusted down for life expectancy. If a veteran is over in assets, a VA accredited lawyer can counsel prospective clients on different legal strategies to help the veteran in qualifying.
The last hurdle to maximize the benefits for a veteran is the income test. Basically, a veteran, or the surviving spouse of a veteran must have unreimbursed medical expenses that equal or exceed their income. Unreimbursed medical expenses potentially include home care, assisted living in a protected environment, nursing home costs, prescription costs, and incontinence supplies. Typically, if a veteran or surviving spouse is receiving home care, or residing in an assisted living or nursing home facility, they will qualify.