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When meeting with us for an elder law consultation to discuss your individual planning needs, be sure to ask us if you are eligible to apply for Veterans Special Pension. Applications can be obtained from our office.
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Veteran's Improved Pension
as an Elder Law Planning Strategy
The aging veterans of the Greatest Generation who fought in World War II and Korea are trying mightily to remain in their homes even after they require direct care-giving to help them get through their day. Their spouses may be struggling to provide this level of care, even though the spouses may have health problems of their own. Special Pension with Aid and Attendance (A&A) provided by the Veterans Administration can come to the rescue to help low-income, low-asset veterans (or their widows) that have high health care costs. The veteran had to have served 90 days of active duty, with at least one day during a Period of War. The home and one vehicle are exempt assets.
This program is designed for individuals over 65 who require the regular attendance of another person to assist with bathing, dressing, undressing, eating, and using the bathroom. An individual who is blind, or who resides in an Assisted Living facility or nursing home due to mental or physical disabilities is also eligible.
With home care costs often around $15/hour, this benefit can potentially help pay for as much as 100 hours of care per month in the home, making all the difference for someone trying to remain in the community. A veteran can receive up to $1,703/month (married veteran - $2,019); the widow(er) up to $1,094/month, and an eligible couple up to $1,743/month.
Individuals who are also eligible for Global Options Medicaid benefits in the home can receive A&A as well. For Global Options, gross monthly income cannot exceed $2,094/month. The value of the benefit is not counted towards this "income cap." With this combination, a person can potentially arrange for 8 or 9 hours of home health aide care per day. Individual eligibility and circumstances will vary.