AN INTRODUCTION TO THE VA NON-SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITY PENSION (WITH AID & ATTENDANCE)

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Stuart Furman, Esq.

Our United States government created a pension for veterans, and their surviving spouses, to assist them if they need help with bathing, eating, moving, toileting and the like (“ALDs”). It was established to provide financial assistance for independent living, assisted living, and even at home!

There are four primary tests:

  1. Military Service. The veteran must have served on active duty for 90 consecutive days with ONE day during a period of war or conflict. The veteran need not have been in the theatre of war but merely on active duty DURING such period. A surviving spouse qualifies based on the veteran's service record. A dishonorable discharge will disqualify the veteran.
  2. Need. The pension is needs based and an analysis must be done to see the extent of the need for assistance for qualifying. A qualifying medical diagnosis affecting activities of daily living (ADLs) must be obtained.
  3. Income vs. cost of care. If the veteran/spouse earns much more than the cost of care, although he/she may qualify, the VA may not pay any benefits. The income vs. cost of care analysis will determine the amount of benefits available.
  4. Assets. There are specific asset limits in order to qualify. However, even if you feel you have too many assets, there are safe solutions and acceptable planning techniques to protect your wealth and still allow you to qualify. An asset analysis is important to determine your options.

SO WHAT DOES THIS PENSION MEAN TO YOU?

First, access to the pension provides access to care. With the pension in hand, you can afford the care that you need. Second, you have more choices, either to gain admission to a residential home, afford a nicer home, or to afford you the comfort of knowing that you will not run out of money. Third, the pension is dependable, paid from the Federal Treasury directly to you, like social security benefits. For a free case evaluation, click here.