As elder law attorneys, we assist people that are concerned about the eventualities of aging, so we have a thorough understanding of all the programs that can be of assistance to seniors. One of them is an often overlooked veterans benefit, and we will take a look at it here.
Supplemental Income for Wartime Veterans
People that serve in the military are eligible for a retirement pension after they have served for at least 20 years. The amount of the payout will go up depending on the length of service, so forward-looking veterans can be in a position to enjoy their golden years to the fullest.
In addition to this retirement pension that is available to people that have put in a considerable amount of time, the Veterans Pension for senior and disabled veterans is another benefit.
With regard to length of service, if you have served for at least 90 days, with a minimum of one of those days taking place during a time of war, you would meet the requirement.
To qualify for the Veterans Pension, you must be 65 years of age or older or totally and permanently disabled. The benefit can also be available to patients in nursing homes, Social Security Disability Insurance recipients, and people that are receiving Supplemental Security Income.
This benefit is intended for veterans with a modicum of financial need, so there are income and asset limits. When it comes to assets, initially, decisions were made on a case-by-case basis, but there is now a hard net worth limit that stands at $127,061 at the time of this writing.
It should be noted that your home and one vehicle that is used as a source of transportation would not be counted. The income limit for a single veteran with no dependents in 2019 is $13,537.
Aid and Attendance
One of the reasons why a lot of people that qualify for this benefit are not aware of it is because you don’t necessarily have to be disabled in any way to gain eligibility. You simply have to meet the length of service requirement and be 65 years of age or older.
This being stated, if you are eligible to receive the Veterans Pension, and you are unable to handle all of your own day-to-day needs by yourself, you can qualify for an additional benefit. The aid and attendance benefit would be added to your basic Veterans Pension, and the income limit is $22,577 for a single veteran in 2019.
An eligible veteran that is considered to be housebound can receive additional monetary payments above and beyond the standard Veterans Pension, and it differs from the aid and attendance increase.
Now that we have set the stage, we can address the look-back issue. Before 2018, you could give gifts to get assets out of your name so you could apply for Medicaid without any time constraints. You could divest yourself of asset one day and they would not count if you applied the next.
Now, there is a 36-month look-back period, so any resources that you give away within three years of the submission of your application would be counted.
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