If you are a veteran, you are hopefully aware of Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits which are available to those of you who served for at least 90 days, with at least one of those days occurring during wartime. These benefits are also available to their surviving spouses. The qualifying disability does not need to be service-related. A common question that veterans have, as they age and consider long-term care, is whether the costs for such care will be covered by Aid and Attendance benefits. Let our Los Angeles Aid and Attendance benefits attorney explain what you need to know.
The purpose of Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits
Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits are designed for veterans and their surviving spouses who need assistance in performing the “activities of daily living” (ADLs). That includes dressing, eating, bathing or going to the bathroom. Veterans who are blind or reside in a nursing home also qualify for the pension. In fact, this pension is often overlooked by veterans who need long-term care services such as in-home care or residence in a nursing home.
Qualifying for Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits
In order to qualify, the veteran or surviving spouse can own no more than $80,000 in assets, excluding their home and vehicle. Income is also limited to the Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR), which is currently (2017) set at $ $21,531 for a single veteran and $25,525 for a married veteran. Calculating income does not include welfare benefits, unreimbursed medical expenses, and Supplemental Security Income.
Veterans whose income may be too high to qualify may still be able to receive Aid and Attendance benefits if they have high medical costs that have not been reimbursed. In that case, the VA will pay the difference between the veteran’s income and the MAPR.
Los Angeles Aid and Attendance benefits attorney can help you apply
When filling out the Aid and Attendance Application, there are some specific documents you will need to have available in addition to the documents the government requires. Once you have gathered the necessary documents and information, It is time to fill out the necessary forms for completing the application. You need to obtain and complete VA Form 21-527EZ (For Veterans) or VA Form 21-534EZ (For Spouses). If you need assistance, you can contact the Veterans Administration in your area. Our Los Angeles Aid and Attendance benefits attorney can also help.
What to expect after filing for Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits
It is important to remember that each person’s application is unique with its own unique set of possible issues. Furthermore, every benefits processing center does not operate in the same manner. Some centers are simply more efficient at handling claims than others. Also, if there is any required information missing from your application that will have an impact on how long it takes to process your application. Generally speaking, it can take approximately 8 to 10 months for your application to be processed. You will receive a determination letter from the processing center when your application has been reviewed. If you have questions about the application process, contact our Los Angeles Aid and Attendance benefits attorney.
Older applicants can request expedited processing
Applicants who are age 90 or older can request that their application for Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits be expedited. Indeed, the Veterans Administration’s regulations provide that the processing center should give priority to applications from veterans or widows age 90 or older. If this applies to you, simply submit a cover letter making that request along with your application.
Why veterans benefits is such an important issue
California reportedly has the largest population of veterans in the country, with close to 2 million citizens who are veterans. That means there are nearly 2 million veterans and their spouses who are likely qualified to receive a monthly cash reimbursement or their out-of-pocket medical expenses. However, the benefits application process is relatively complex and many veterans and their families are misinformed about how it all works.
If a veteran initially receives information or advice from a source that is not well-informed, they may be discouraged by their prospects and neglect to pursue their benefits any further. But, with the assistance of our Los Angeles aid and attendance benefits attorney, you may be able to qualify for benefits you never thought you could.
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