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VA Benefit Alert

The Department of Veterans Affairs is publishing new regulations for its Aid & Attendance pension.

What is Aid & Attendance?

Aid & Attendance is a VA benefit for Veterans or their spouses who require the aid of another person to help with activities of daily life or to otherwise assist with long-term care needs. Aid & Attendance helps Veterans pay for Personal Care Homes, Assisted Living, Non-Medical In-Home Nursing Care, and Nursing Homes.

What are the new changes?

The new regulations make several changes, but there are a couple of changes you need to know about today!

  1. New Gift Rule. The VA will now ask if you made any gifts in the last 3 years when you apply for Aid & Attendance. The gift may result in a penalty period that can cause significant delays in getting benefits.
  2. New Asset Rule. To qualify for Aid & Attendance you must spend your assets down below $123,600.00 (tied to the Medicaid maximum community spouse protective share). This is an increase from the $80,000.00 asset limit that was used before. However, the VA will now use the Veteran’s assets and the annual income to determine net worth for eligibility.
  3. New Residence Rule. The VA will not count the value of your primary residence. However, new regulations define a residential lot area to be “the lot on which a residence sits that does not exceed 2 acres (87,120 square feet) unless the additional acreage is not marketable.” Veterans in Central PA who have a home on more than 2 acres will have the land over 2 acres valued which could count again them for Aid & Attendance eligibility.

The New Regulations will go into effect October 30, 2018.

If you are a Veteran or the spouse of a Veteran and you think you may someday need to apply for Aid & Attendance benefits, then you need to do your planning now. All Veterans should talk to an elder law attorney and determine if creating an irrevocable trust before October 30th will protect their assets. Veterans will still be able to plan after October 30th, but they will have to deal with the lookback period and gift rules.

Call the Malee Law Firm, P.C. at (570) 321-6112 today to schedule an appointment to discuss your VA planning.