Michael G. Kelly is a VA Accredited Attorney and assists Veterans with pre-application matters such as planning for eligibility for benefits, including review of records, research, counseling and other assistance. Mr. Kelly is a volunteer for the American Bar Association VCAN program, which provides free legal assistance to obtain Veterans’ benefits for qualified Veterans.
Too often a Veteran or his or her survivor is unaware of the various benefits to which he or she may be entitled. Benefits to Veterans delivered by the Department of Veterans Affairs include low or no cost health care, disability compensation, pension, burial and assistance to widows and dependents. The pension is a needs-based program that provides financial assistance to certain eligible Veterans who meet the income and asset limitations and who are found to be totally and permanently disabled. Also, many Veterans are unaware that disability benefits are available to them.
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs provides financial help to wartime veterans who need long term care. This benefit is called the “AID AND ATTENDANCE” benefit. It also helps spouses, widows, and widowers of those Veterans.
TO BENEFIT FROM OUR HELP TO OBTAIN THE “AID AND ATTENDANCE” BENEFIT A CLIENT SHOULD:
- Be a wartime Veteran, or the spouse, widow, or widower of one
- Need care at home or in an assisted living facility
Planning can avoid problems such as application denial, ALTCS ineligibility, loss of assets, or other problems.
Help to pay for care at home or in an assisted living facility is given if you qualify for aid and attendance benefits.
Veterans Benefit Pension Maximum for Aid and Attendance
- Veteran & Spouse $31,714
- Veteran $26,752
- Surviving Spouse 17,192
To qualify for the Veteran Benefits the Veteran must have served at least 90 days active duty, including at least one day during a recognized wartime period:
- WWII 12-7-1941 to 12-31-1946
- Korean War 6-27-1950 to 1-31-1955
- Vietnam War 2-28-1961 to 5-7-1975
- Vietnam Era 8-5-1964 to 5-7-1975
- Persian Gulf 8-2-1990 to Present
The Veteran must not have received a dishonorable discharge. If the applicant is a widow or widower, he or she must have been living with the Veteran when the Veteran died (unless separation was due to medical or military reasons). The applicant must require the aid of another person on a regular basis and allowable medical expenses must exceed house- hold income. Someone requiring care at home or in assisted living often meets this requirement.
It is a popular notion that low-income Veterans pension benefits are not available to persons with net worth in excess of a certain amount. The truth is that there is not a set amount of net worth that a Veteran cannot exceed. Eligibility based on net worth depends on several factors.
- income from all sources
- the age and life expectancy of the applicant
- family and medical expenses
- assets and their convertibility into cash
The major focus is on whether a Veteran has reasonably sufficient net worth (assets and income) to cover his or her medical expenses, and those of dependents, over the course of his or her life expectancy. If he or she is not able to, he or she will likely be eligible for pension benefits. As Veterans get older, the fewer resources they are allowed to have to be eligible for Veterans’ Benefits. It is important to consult an Elder Law Attorney who is knowledgeable regarding Veterans’ Benefits if net worth needs to be considered together with these other factors in obtaining eligibility. Many times clients will find with help from an Elder Law Attorney that they are eligible for Veteran Benefits that they did not previously consider.
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PHONE: (623) 628-1110
FAX: (623) 240-2609
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