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November 20, 2019   |    Blog, Enhanced Living and PC, Finance and Planning, In-Home Care

Event Summary: Maximizing Veterans Benefits with Attorney Tye Cressman

Attorney Tye Cressman spoke on November 12th at Wesbury regarding Long-Term care planning with Veterans Benefits: Updated Pension Rules. They impact all Veterans and spouses who need (or may need) long-term care in the future.  Specifically, VA benefits have great potential for persons needing in-home care and assistance, or personal care.  Properly used, the Homebound and Aid & Assistance benefits can be a tremendous resource for Veterans and spouses seeking to pay for ongoing care.  During this presentation Attorney Cressman reviewed current eligibility guidelines for VA benefits and discussed planning options that apply to Veterans and families seeking eligibility. Tye Cressman is a Certified Elder Law Attorney who focuses on areas of elder law, estate planning, Medicaid planning, and estate administration.

When to Consider Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits

  • Veteran is in an assisted living facility or personal care home.
  • Veteran is receiving care at home from a family member or others
  • Spouse of a deceased veteran needs assisted living or personal care.
  • Spouse of a deceased veteran is receiving in-home care from family members or others
  • Veteran or Spouse of a veteran needs in-home care or an assisted living or personal care home but believes he/she/they cannot afford it

Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit Value as of 2019 for Assisted Living or Personal Care Home:

  • Veteran up to: $1,881/month
  • Spouse of a Veteran up to: $1,209/month
  • Veteran and Spouse up to: $2,230/month

Veterans Aid and Attendance Eligibility Requirements:

  • 90 days of active duty with 1 day served during a wartime period
  • Discharge from the Military other than dishonorable
  • Permanently and totally disabled, or over 65 years old
  • Veteran must financially need assistance:
    • The countable income must be less than the veteran benefit pension they are eligible for. (Note: Certain unreimbursed medical expenses can be deducted)
    • Net Resources less than $127,061 (Note: there are some exemptions for certain resources such as a home including 2 acres, family vehicles, and pre-paid burial/funeral)
  • Need assistance with at least 2 Activities of Daily Living, such as: bathing, dressing, maintaining incontinence, etc…; or bedridden; or in a nursing home or assisted living; or nearly blind.

  VA Pension Gifting Rules:

  • There is a look back period from 36 months from the date of application
  • The penalty start date is 1 month after the date of the gift (not the date of eligibility)
  • The penalty to determine the months of ineligibility is calculated by the total gift amount divided by the Maximum Annual Pension Rates (MAPR).
  • There are exempt transfers, please contact your local VA office to determine.

If you have questions regarding Veterans Aid and Attendance or to learn if you qualify, please contact your local VA office.

Crawford County VA Office:

Address: Downtown Mall (Parking Lot Side), 900 Water St, Suite 2, Meadville, PA 16335

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30AM until 4:30PM

Contact: 814-333-7314

Website: Crawford County Veterans Service

Wesbury would like to thank everyone who attended and Attorney Tye Cressman for his informational presentation and discussion about Veterans Benefits.