2017 Veterans Benefits
Mr. McDermott is an accredited Veterans Administration (VA) attorney. The firm concentrates its VA benefits practice in VA pension benefits (Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits) which provide monthly income to a Veteran or the surviving spouse of a Veteran to pay for home care or assisted living costs.
These VA benefits are known as Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits. Similar to Medicaid the VA has income and asset requirements in order to qualify for these benefits. Unlike Medicaid there are currently no divestment penalties for gifting assets under VA rules.
However gifting assets to qualify for VA benefits may later result in Medicaid ineligibility when that government benefit is needed for long term care. Additionally, as of early 2017, it is anticipated that Congress will soon enact legislation that will penalize gifting under VA rules. The exact methods by which gifting will be penalized under VA rules has not yet been finalized. If you are contemplating planning to qualify for the VA benefit please contact my office for a consultation.
The firm is able to properly assist clients in structuring their assets to qualify for VA benefits and at the same time not jeopardize Medicaid benefits. Typically under VA asset rules one may own a home, a car and up to $80,000.00 in countable assets depending on the veteran’s life expectancy. The firm can assist with protecting countable assets in excess of $80,000.00 so that VA benefits are obtained. Please contact us to find out if you can qualify for these valuable benefits.
The 2017 monthly VA benefits are as follows. For a Veteran with a spouse the maximum monthly Aid and Attendance benefit is $2,127.00 and the maximum monthly Housebound benefit is $1,647.50. This benefit is available for the Veteran who needs long term care. For a surviving spouse of a Veteran with no dependents the maximum monthly Aid and Attendance benefit is $1,149.00 and the maximum monthly Housebound benefit is $879.00.
For these types of VA benefits, in addition to asset rules there are income rules and non financial rules. The non financial rules relate to military service requirements for the Veteran and the need for the Veteran, spouse or surviving spouse to need assistance with the activities of daily living. Also the cost of medical care for the disabled person must be compared to income to see if the income rules are satisfied.
Military service requirements are that the Veteran served in the active military, naval or air service for a continuous period of at least 90 days one day of which was during a declared war period. The periods of war are World War II 12/7/1941 to 12/31/1946, Korea 6/27/1950 to 12/31/1955 and Vietnam 8/5/1964 (2/28/1961 if actually in country earlier) to 5/7/1975. There is no need for combat or to have served in a particular country. The Veteran also had to be discharged “under conditions other than dishonorable”.
The firm can counsel Veterans and their families in all aspects of the above requirements. Call us today to schedule an appointment.