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Veterans' benefits to help with long-term care costs

In Florida, some veterans and their spouses may be eligible for a long-term care benefit through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Despite the availability of this benefits program, only 5 percent of the funds are accessed each year because many people simply don't know about the program's existence.

The Veterans Aid & Attendance Pension benefit program offers monthly payments to people who are eligible for all types of long-term care, including assisted living, in-home care, nursing home care and board and care. The money is not taxed and may be used along with other types of benefits programs.

Applicants to the program must meet the eligibility standards. The veterans must have served at least 90 days of active duty in the military, and one of the days must have overlapped with a qualifying wartime period. The veteran or surviving spouse must also pass a means test. Qualifying applicants must have no more than $80,000 in assets, excluding their homes and vehicles. When people are approved, they may receive different amounts depending on who they are. Veterans may receive up to $1,794 per month for long-term care, and surviving spouses may receive up to $1,153 per month. Eligible couples may receive up to $2,127 per month. Unlike Medicaid or Medicare, the benefits may be used to pay for assisted living, making this program appealing to many.

The availability of different types of veterans' benefits is meant to help people who have served the country. People who are preparing to apply for benefits may want to consult with experienced lawyers. The attorneys may help their clients to navigate the application process and may assist people with denied claims. There are several different types of benefits for which veterans and their families might be eligible, and a lawyer may help them to identify the programs that might help.

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