Elderly veterans who served during a war-time period may be entitled to vital pension benefits to cover expenses under the Veterans Aid and Attendance (A&A) pension program. A surviving spouse of a veteran may also qualify for pension benefits. Unfortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs is proposing sweeping changes to the eligibility rules and how the VA may calculate benefits moving forward.
The Law Office of Amy B. Van Fossen, P.A., in Melbourne, Florida, is well-respected for our dedication to protecting the interests of seniors in all manner of long-term care planning matters. With the potential changes to the A&A law, it is more important than ever for veterans to seek the help of a qualified elder law attorney who has knowledge of the rules and experience as a VA-accredited lawyer.
Changes To A&A Law Make It More Important Than Ever To Have Experienced Representation
Under the new proposed regulations, the VA has created a new definition of a veteran’s net worth based upon a calculation of countable assets and income. The rules may use the community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) under Medicaid as the net worth limit for A&A benefits eligibility— the CSRA is adjusted every year. The Aid and Attendance changes do not include a veteran’s primary residence and a reasonable amount of land up to two acres as a countable asset. In other words, a residence on a lot larger than others in the neighborhood or a home on a farm larger than two acres may create countable real estate for Aid and Attendance eligibility purposes.
Historically, the VA has not imposed a penalty for transferring assets prior to applying for pension benefits. That process would change if the current formulation of rules goes into effect. The VA would look at all asset transfers occurring within three years of an application for Aid and Attendance pension benefits. Any asset transfer during the 36-month look-back period could result in a significant delay in pension benefits. The VA has proposed a penalty of up to 10 years for improper transfers. Given the significance of the potential penalty, it is vital for eligible veterans or the surviving spouse of a veteran to speak with a VA-accredited elder law attorney for guidance on long-term care planning before making any decisions that could create a costly mistake.
Contact A VA-Accredited Lawyer In Brevard County
To learn more about how we can help eligible veterans and their spouses protect assets, remain in their own homes as long as possible and receive the care that they need, call our VA-accredited lawyer in Brevard County at 321-426-1848 or toll free at 800-495-9153. You may also send us a message using the online contact form to request a consultation.