On, September 18th, 2018, the Veterans Administration (VA) released the long anticipated updated VA regulations regarding Veterans Pension Benefits. The new rules took effect on October 18, 2018, and make qualifying for the Pension Benefit (also known as “Aid and Attendance”) more difficult. The Pension Benefit helps pay for un-reimbursed medical expenses for Veterans and their surviving spouse. The new regulations will make this benefit available to fewer Veterans and/or their spouses.
Some of the criteria remained the same. For instance, the Veterans had to serve in active duty (not reserve duty) during a period of war:
- World War II – December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946
- Korean War – June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955
- Vietnam War – February 28, 1961 if Served in Vietnam or August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975
- Persian Gulf War – August 2, 1990 continues through today
The Veteran, or surviving spouse, needs help with two activities of daily living (dressing, bathing, getting in or out of a bed or chair, feeding themselves, toileting, or help due to memory issues.
The Veteran, or surviving spouse, must have unreimbursed medical expenses (not covered by Medicare, Medicare Supplement, or Long Term Care Insurance) that comes close or exceed their income.
Some of the biggest changes is identifying the amount of assets the Veteran, the Veteran and spouse, or the surviving spouse can have. It is now deemed to be a maximum of approximately $130,000. In the past, if the Veteran or surviving spouse had too many assets, we could set up a special type of trust, move assets into the trust and the person would become eligible for Pension Benefits. Now if there are two many assets, and the assets are transferred into the trust, there is a three-year “lookback” or waiting period before applying for Pension Benefits.
If you are a Veteran, or surviving spouse of a Veteran, and feel that you may need care in the future, please call us today at 636-394-0009, or visit our website to learn more about Veterans Benefits. Don’t delay! This is tax free money that could make a huge difference in your quality of life and quality of care!