It sure does!
The Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Benefit has often been called “the VA’s best-kept-secret.”
This non-service-connected pension benefit is specifically meant to help wartime veterans with unreimbursed medical expenses… and even your spouse is eligible (if qualified). And the great thing about this benefit is that you don’t have to spend yourself (or give gifts) into poverty to receive it.
Eligibility for this benefit is determined by any one of three factors:
- You’re over 65.
- You’re permanently disabled and unable to work.
- You’re home-bound and in need of regular attention. You don’t have to be in your own home, however. It doesn’t matter where you are… home, assisted/supportive living, or nursing home. The program is based on financial need, so there are income and asset limitations.
The program allows for the following benefit amounts (2012 figures):
- Married wartime veteran – Up to $2,019 per month tax-free
- Single wartime veteran – Up to $1,703 per month tax-free
- Widowed spouse of a wartime veteran – Up to $1,094 per month tax free
To get his benefit though, you’ve got to understand how the VA views income. They use a system called Income for VA Purposes (IVAP). The formula used to calculate this figure is gross income minus reimbursed medical expenses (UMEs)… including doctor’s fees, dentist’s fees, Medicare premiums and copayments, health insurance premiums, transportation costs to physician’s offices, and assisted living facilities or in-home aides.
Sound confusing? It gets worse.
To the VA, gifts that you make to family carry very short periods of ineligibility. If you’re applying for Medicaid, however, that’s not the case. Gifting today is a very complex process that can lead to severe penalties with Medicaid. And you shouldn’t undertake it without professional guidance. Done improperly, it can create huge gaps in care. And it can cost you just about every cent you’ve got.
At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we’re Elder Law attorneys. Over the past 33 years, we’ve helped thousands of South Floridians file for VA or Medicaid benefits. And we’ve helped them, as well, with comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, asset protection, and long-term care planning.
We know the ropes… and we’ll get you through. We’re just a phone call away.
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