Help Getting Qualified – What you need to know about VA Benefits

By Marty Fogarty  

The “Aid and Attendance” benefit. like the “Pension” Benefit – is a benefit paid to qualifying veterans who meet certain economic and health tests. These are benefits that are paid in addition to the basic pension amount. The information set forth in this section of the report comes straight from the Bureau of Veterans Affairs.

Are You Eligible?

Generally, the veteran may be eligible if:

  • The veteran’s discharge from service was other than dishonorable,
  • The veteran is age 65 or older, OR, you are permanently and totally disabled, AND
  • The veteran served at least 90 days of active military service
  • The veteran served 1 day during a war time period:

    • World War II. December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946, inclusive. If the veteran was in service on December 31, 1946, continuous service before July 26, 1947, is considered World War II service.
    • Korean conflict. June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955, inclusive.
    • Vietnam era. The period beginning on February 28, 1961, and ending on May 7, 1975, inclusive, in the case of a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period. The period beginning on August 5, 1964, and ending on May 7, 1975, inclusive, in all other cases

AND

  • The veteran’s countable family income is below a yearly limit set by law – this amount is set annually by congress.
  • If the veteran does not initially qualify, the veteran may reapply if the veteran have un-reimbursed medical expenses during the twelve month period after VA receives the claim that bring the veteran’s countable income below the yearly income limit.
  • (These are expense you have paid for medical services or products for which the veteran will not be reimbursed by Medicare or private medical insurance.)
  • But the better way is not to apply until we know you’ll qualify!

AND one of the following conditions:

  • The veteran requires the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, toiletry, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting himself/herself from the hazards of his/her daily environment, OR,
  • The veteran is bedridden, in that his/her disability or disabilities requires that he/she remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment, OR,
  • The veteran is a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity, OR,
  • The veteran is blind, or so nearly blind as to have corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less.

What You need to Know about the VA benefit:

What is countable income for veteran’s pension eligibility purposes?

This includes income received by the veteran and his or her dependents, if any, from most sources. It includes earnings, disability and retirement payments, interest and dividends, and net income from farming or business.

It is important to note that the VA and Medicaid view income and assets differently – for example – there is a presumption that all of a child’s income is available to or for the veteran. VA may grant an exception in hardship cases.

Can your net worth disqualify you?

Net worth means the net value of the assets of the veteran and his or her dependents. It includes such assets as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and any property other than the veteran’s residence and a reasonable lot area.

There is no set limit on how much net worth a veteran and his dependents can have, but net worth cannot be excessive. The decision as to whether a claimant’s net worth is excessive depends on the facts of each individual case.

What are the exclusions to income that allow certain income to be “non-countable”?

Public assistance such as Supplemental Security Income is not considered income.

A portion of unreimbursed medical expenses paid by the claimant after VA receives the claimant’s pension claim may be deducted. (These are expense you have paid for medical services or products for which you will not be reimbursed by Medicare or private medical insurance.)

Certain other expenses, such as a veteran’s education expenses, and in some cases, a portion of the educational expenses of a child over 18 are deductible.

What are the Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits?

  • Aid and Attendance (A&A) is a benefit paid in addition to monthly pension. This benefit may not be paid without eligibility to pension. A veteran may be eligible for A&A when:
  • Housebound is paid in addition to monthly pension. Like A&A, Housebound benefits may not be paid without eligibility to pension. A veteran may be eligible for Housebound benefits when:

a. The veteran has a single permanent disability evaluated as 100-percent disabling AND, due to such disability, he/she is permanently and substantially confined to his/her immediate premises, OR,

b. The veteran has a single permanent disability evaluated as 100-percent disabling AND, another disability, or disabilities, evaluated as 60 percent or more disabling.

A veteran cannot receive both Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits at the same time.

How to Apply for Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits:

  1. You may apply for VA Benefits on your own. The challenge with this is that the learning curve, detail, and minutia you’ll have to master to do this is a heavy price for anyone who doesn’t do this on a regular basis.
  2. Because the VA benefit is closely dependent on how you own your assets, your best first move is to meet with an Elder Law Attorney specializing in designing VA Benefit Application Plans. There will never be a cost to you to process your application; but fees may apply to bring your powers of attorney and estate planning up to date.
  3. How to get the Help and Protection you deserve.

Don’t Go It Alone–Get the help (and protection) you deserve!

The Best Advice: Contact us. We can help!

The best advice we can give you is this: Start planning now. No one knows what the future will bring. The sooner you start preparing for your golden years, the fewer surprises there are likely to be. And a little planning now can make a big difference for you and your loved ones later on.

Contact us today for a consultation. We are glad to help.

Your Three-Step Plan for Success:

  1. Set yourself up to make an intelligent next move: Understand your landscape.
  2. Work with someone who can safely guide you through the maze of government benefit eligibility. Each month we delay our planning is costing us an average of $3,000 / month!
  3. Fill out the following simple checklist and fax, scan or call us to have one of our specially trained attorneys provide a confidential assessment of your situation for you.
    • There is no fee, no obligation, and no risk for you!
    • This is the fastest way for you to understand where you are in the landscape of government benefit eligibility!

IMMEDIATELY FIND OUT WHERE YOU STAND WITH THIS FREE CONFIDENTIAL QUICK-START CHECKLIST!

VA Benefit Checklist:

Fill in the following information for a FREE report on what steps you can take to

Qualify for VA benefits for you or your loved one.

GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS:

You (or your spouse) must have had:

  1. At least 90 days of military service in your (or your spouse’s lifetime)
  2. At least 1 day of Active Service between the following dates:

    1. WWII: Dec. 7, 1941 – Dec. 31, 1946
    2. KOREAN WAR: JUNE 27th, 1950 – Jan 31, 1955
    3. VIETNAM ERA: August 5th, 1964 – May 7th 1975
  3. Been Honorably or Generally Discharged.

In addition, you or your spouse must:

___ Currently NEED aid and assistance

___ Or Currently BE RECEIVING aid and assistance

___ And are Currently PAYING for aid and assistance

YOUR NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION (Will be held in the strictest of confidence)

  • Name _________________________________________________
  • Phone _________________________________________________
  • Mailing Address ________________________________________
  • Email Address___________________________________________

HOME OWNERSHIP STATUS:

There are important home ownership issues that complicate VA Benefits qualification. Please fill in below to help us understand your current situation.

___ I (or your spouse) currently own a home

___ I (or your spouse) do not currently own a home

ASSETS / FINANCIAL MEANS:

Your approval by the VA and the final dollar amount of your award are determined by your current assets and health related expenses.

Please fill in the blanks below being as precise as possible:

Total amount of monetary assets in all Retirement Accounts: _____________________

Total amount of monetary asserts in non-retirement Accounts: __________________

Thank you for taking the time to fill out this checklist.

If you are unsure of how to answer the questions above – please submit the form anyway – we’ll follow up with a call to complete this report for you.

Now, get it to us and we’ll begin analyzing your case for you at no risk, no cost and no obligation! We will send you a detailed, personalized and confidential report listing what steps you will need to take to qualify for the VA Benefit.

HOW TO GET THIS CHECKLIST TO US:

1. EMAIL: info@heartlandlawfirm.com

2. FAX: 847-729-3301

3. CALL US AT: 847-729-3300

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Once we receive your report – we’ll contact you to arrange a time to talk to you regarding your individual circumstances. Our first job is to understand you, your personal situation and your goals.

Next we give you complete clarity to empower you to make a strong, confident next move.

Have Questions?

We can help! Call us at 847-729-3300 now!