Veterans Often Overlook Government Benefits

Many former members of the armed forces are unaware of benefits available to them through the Veterans Administration. The Aid and Attendance Improved Pension—which has been available for nearly 60 years–is a case in point.  It provides funding to help defray the costs of ongoing assistance with such tasks of daily living as eating, taking medication, bathing, and toileting. Care in nursing homes or assisted living facilities due to mental or physical disabilities is also covered. Vets, 65 or older, who served during a period of war, and whose income and net worth fall within the required range, are eligible.  Compensation is not tied to service-related injuries. Surviving spouses and dependent children qualify for more limited coverage. A “homebound pension,” also available to those needing care, is less restrictive than Aid and Attendance and can frequently be used to compensate family caregivers or to defray the costs of adult day care. There is also a “basic pension,” having no medical pre-conditions, available to vets 65 or over who have limited income. Unmarried vets with no dependent children must have annual incomes under $11,830.  Those with a spouse must have an income of under $15,493 yearly. An elder law attorney can advise you on methods of protecting personal assets while qualifying for, and coordinating, Veterans and Medicaid benefits, the latter often needed to cover long-term care. Visit www.elderlawnewyork.com or www.littmankrooks.com for more information.

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