Did you know?
There are special tax free cash benefits available from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help war period veterans and their widows pay for home healthcare and medical expenses?
What is Veterans benefits?
This benefit is called the VA Aid and Attendance Pension (A&A) and qualified veterans or their widows can receive monthly cash benefits up to the following amounts:
Married Veteran | $1,949 per month tax free (maximum benefit)
Single Veteran | $1,644 per month tax free (maximum benefit)
Widow of Veteran | $1,056 per month tax free (maximum benefit)
To Qualify, the War Period Veteran Must Have:
- Served 90 consecutive days on active military duty
- Received a better than dishonorable discharge and
- Served at least 1 day of active duty during a war period
(There is no requirement that any service be performed in a combat zone)
The Widow Must:
- Not have remarried after the Veteran’s death
The Veteran (or Widow) Must:
- Be certified by a doctor as needing assistance with his or her daily living activities
The Household Must:
- Have significantly less than $80,000 in Allowable Countable Assets (subject to the discretion of the VA) and
- The Adjusted Household Income (Gross Household Income less all unreimbursed recurring medical expenses) must be less than the A&A benefit
Veterans and Widows referred to as ("Claimants") can become Qualified for the A&A Benefit with Proper Asset and Income Planning:
Most A&A Claimants have difficulty qualifying for the A&A benefit due to their inability to meet the income and asset limitations. Elder law attorneys, however, can help claimants become A&A qualified through proper A&A benefit planning. The goal of A&A benefit planning is to help Claimants qualify for A&A, which in turn helps them pay for their medical expenses and postpones the depletion of their assets. Other goals are to preserve and protect the Claimants’ assets and eliminate or postpone any need to rely upon Medicaid for care.
Presently, unlike Medicaid, the VA does not have any rules that restrict the gifting away of assets to reduce the net worth of the Claimant before qualifying for the A&A benefit. However, serious tax issues and Medicaid’s rules and restrictions should be considered in any plan to qualify for the A&A benefit. Therefore, we recommend that any Veterans, or their Widows, who meet the service requirements should contact an elder attorney to learn if they can qualify for the A&A benefit.