Long-term care costs should be a source of concern when you are looking ahead toward your senior years. Seven out of 10 seniors will need help with their activities of daily living, and the majority of elders will require paid assistance.
Medicare does not cover a stay in a nursing home or custodial care that is provided by a professional home health aide. Since long-term care is very expensive, this lack of coverage presents a challenge, but there is a veterans benefit that can make a difference.
Veterans that served in the military for 20 years or more are entitled to a retirement pension, but the Veterans Pension is a different benefit. It is potentially available to former service members that are at least 65 years of age and/or totally and permanently disabled.
This benefit is intended for people that served during a time of war. If you began active duty before September 8, 1980, you can be eligible if you served for at least 90 days with a minimum of one of the days taking place when the country was at war.
For enlisted veterans that joined after this date, the minimum length of service requirement is 24 months. Officers that began their active duty after October 16, 1981 can be eligible as long as they did not serve on active duty during the previous 24 months.
This benefit is for veterans that have financial need, so there is an asset limit. Prior to October 18, 2018, there was no hard asset limit. Decisions were made on a case-by-case basis.
A piece of legislation was passed that changed the playing field. There is now a specific asset limit, and it stands at $130,773 in 2021. It is indexed annually to account for inflation, so this limit will be in place through November 30th, 2021.
This is the limit for countable assets, but there are some resources that are not counted. Your primary place of residence is one of them, and you can gain eligibility if you own a motor vehicle.
Household items that would not be taken with you if you moved are not counted, but your furniture would count.
Another new stipulation that was put into place when the asset limit was established is the three-year look back period. Administrators will check to see if you divested yourself of assets within three years of your application submission date.
If you transferred assets out of your name and did not receive fair value in return, you would be deemed ineligible.
Veterans Pension Rates
There are three different Veterans Pension designations: the standard variety, the Aid and Attendance pension, and a Housebound pension.
Housebound is essentially self-explanatory, and the Aid and Attendance benefit is for elders that require help with their activities of daily living.
The maximum rate for a single veteran that is eligible for the standard benefit is $13,931 at the present time. For Housebound, it is $1724, and the top Aid and Attendance benefit is $23,238.
For a veteran with one dependent, the figures are $18,243 for standard, $21,337 for Housebound, and $27,549 for Aid and Attendance.
Attend a Free Webinar!
We are conducting a number of webinars over the coming weeks that you can attend to learn more about elder care planning and estate planning. There is no charge to join us, so this is a great opportunity to gain some knowledge that may pay financial dividends.
You can visit our webinar schedule page to see the dates and obtain registration information.
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If you have learned enough to know that you should work with a Los Angeles estate planning attorney to develop a plan, today is the day for action. We can gain an understanding of your situation and help you devise an approach that is ideal for you and your family.
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