A little known benefit for those who have served our country is the Aide and Attendance benefit. This benefit is designed to pay for on-going long-term care costs that could mean the difference between a veteran staying at home or going to the nursing home.
Most veterans don’t realize they qualify for this benefit that could provide up to $2,ooo a month to pay for long-term care costs. On this weeks episode of Elder Advocate Radio, Elder Law Attorney Brandon Thomson broke down how to qualify for veterans benefits.
Aide and Attendance Veterans Benefit Requirements
According to Thomson, veterans must meet the following requirements.
- 90 days active duty. These days don’t have to be consecutive and the veteran didn’t have to be in theatre. acity.They could have served stateside or in a non-combat capacity
- Of those 90 days served, 1 must have occurred during conflict
- The veteran must be honorably discharged
- The veteran must have monthy recurring long-term care
- Long-term care costs must exceed long-term care costs.
People often give up on applying for benefits because thinking they have too many assets. A single person who has over $30,000 in assets or a married couple who has over $60,000 in assets is normally disqualified from receiving the Aide and Attendance benefit but there is another way. Hospital or Nursing Home Social Workers don’t understand that there is a way for a veteran to protect those assets and still qualify for the Aide and Attendance benefit. By consulting with a VA accredited attorney, veterans can learn about vehicles like veterans asset protection trusts that can preserve resources that can help someone stay at home.
Avoiding The Veterans Benefit Crunch
With all the penny pinching going on in the Federal Government, Aide and Attendance may be the next benefit to get a little trim via regulation. Currently veterans can apply for the Aide and Attendance benefit without the federal government “looking back” into their finances. The “look-back” period allows the federal government to check finances of the applicant in previous years to make sure they aren’t hiding money that could otherwise be spent on healthcare services.
Medicaid has a look-back but veterans have been able to avoid that until now. The VA is proposing a three-year look back period for those applying for benefits beginning in 2016. There is no deadline yet but most experts expect it to happen this year.
In order to avoid the look-back period, veterans should apply for benefits as soon as possible. Applications submitted before the changes are officially implemented will most likely be grandfathered in under the previous criteria.for
Listen to Elder Law and VA accredited Attorney Brandon Thomson breakdown the Aide and Attendance benefit on Elder Advocate Radio. For more information visit The Elder Care Firm website