New Rules for VA Aid and Attendance Benefits
Impending regulations will impose changes to the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance pension and these proposed rules will make it more difficult for veterans and their spouses to qualify for long-term care assistance. If you are considering applying for Aid and Attendance benefits, it is encouraged that you do so as soon as possible.
The VA Aid and Attendance pension provides benefits to veterans and their spouses with low income who require assistance with daily tasks like bathing or dressing, or who are in a nursing home. Currently, the VA Aid and Attendance pension is underused but the impending changes will make it available for even fewer veterans because it will specify asset limits for qualification. The changes will also impose transfer penalties as well as a look-back period.
In order for a veteran or a veteran’s surviving spouse to be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefits, they must meet certain asset and income limits. Currently, these asset limits are not specified and, unlike Medicaid, there is no penalty for the divestment of assets before application.
However, the proposed regulations will enforce an asset limit of $119,220 that will include both the assets and the income of the applicant. Additionally, the regulations will impose a look-back period which will penalize applicants who transfer assets within 3 years of application. Under the proposed rules, the penalty period for surviving spouses will be longer than it would be for a veteran.
In order for applicants to avoid this penalty, they will have to provide sufficient evidence that any asset transfers were not made in order to to qualify for the Aid and Attendance pension.
The date has not been confirmed for when the new regulations are to take hold but it could be as soon as the new year (2016). If you have been putting off your application for Aid and Attendance benefits, we encourage you to begin the process right away. An experienced Veterans Benefits Attorneys in Pittsburgh can help you begin and navigate the process.
Determining whether or not you qualify for a Veterans Aid pension and related benefits can be time-consuming and the application can be a confusing process. At Fingeret Law, we have extensive experience working with VA and can help you to secure the benefits that you and your loved ones are entitled to.
To discuss your specific needs and to find out how a veterans benefits attorney in Pittsburgh can help you, please call us at Fingeret Law at 412.281.8222 or contact us online.