Are You a Veteran? Don’t Overlook Aid and Attendance Benefits
Long-term care or at-home care is incredibly expensive. In Florida, a year in a nursing home can cost over $100,000 for even a shared room, which is far more than many people can afford. Fortunately, America’s war-time veterans might qualify for financial help from Veterans Affairs.
At Millhorn Law Firm, our attorneys have assisted many clients in The Villages get the government benefits they are owed. We take special pride in helping wartime veterans access aid and attendance benefits. Speak to us today to learn more.
What is Aid and Attendance?
This benefit has been in existence since 1951, though many veterans are unaware of it. It is a special monthly pension for those with war-time service or their spouses. To qualify, the veteran or spouse must already be entitled to VA pension benefits, generally because they qualify as being permanently and totally disabled.
Aid and attendance can represent a significant amount of money. Many veterans will receive more than $24,000 in a year to cover the cost of long-term care or at-home assistance.
As mentioned above, someone who is entitled to a regular pension can qualify for Aid and Attendance. Generally, a veteran must have served at least 90 days of active duty, with at least one day beginning or ending during a wartime period.
The veteran also must also need the aid and attendance of another person to perform two or more daily activities, such as eating, getting dressed, or bathing. A person who is blind or in a nursing home will also qualify for this benefit.
For example, Michael might have served in Vietnam. Now in his 70s, he must be admitted to a nursing home because he has dementia. This disability is not related to his service—he wasn’t injured in the war—and he qualifies for a regular pension. His family should request Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits.
Likewise, Karen might be the widow of a wartime veteran. She needs help eating and getting dressed while living at home. She should also apply for Aid and Attendance benefits.
Are there Asset and Income Requirements?
Yes. The VA will look at many factors, such as the life expectancy of the claimant and his or her net worth. Only certain assets are counted, however. A home and a vehicle are not counted, which helps get many people under the limit. The VA also looks at total medical expenses when determining whether a claimant qualifies.
The VA also looks at your Maximum Annual Pension Rate, or MAPR. This is the maximum amount of pension payable to someone. Currently, someone without dependents can have a MAPR of $22,939 to qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits. If you have one dependent, then your MAPR is $27,195.
If you are interested in applying, please reach out to an attorney. The financial test is complicated. In some situations, a claimant might be able to give assets to family members so that they qualify for aid and attendance benefits. However, any gifting can also compromise a person’s ability to qualify for Medicaid, so obtain legal advice before signing over assets to a child.
Contact Us Today to Learn More
VA Aid and Attendance is a terrific benefit that often serves as a lifeline for many veterans and their families. Please call the veterans aid and attendance lawyers at Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group today at 800-743-9732 to schedule a free consultation.