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Michigan Elder Law Today

Monday, August 24, 2015

Long-Term Care Planning for Veterans

I am a veteran of the United States military. What do I need to know about planning for an eventual stay in a nursing home?

With proper advanced care planning, a U.S. veterans can enjoy peace of mind that they will be able to access necessary nursing services when the need arises – without relinquishing all of their hard-earned assets and savings in the process.

As a practitioner in elder law, Andrew Byers has a keen understanding of the unique dynamics affecting veterans as they reach a more advanced age, including the need for benefits available to surviving spouses. One such benefit, which is, all too often, underutilized by eligible beneficiaries, is known as the Aid and Attendance Improved Pension benefit which works to supplement the income of a veteran or spouse in need of long-term care.

In general, the veteran or spouse must have limited "countable” assets, a designation which does not include the applicant’s primary dwelling or vehicle. Also, the Aid and Attendance Pension is often available to veterans whose income renders them ineligible for the traditional VA pension benefits. This is why it is so important to meet with an elder law attorney as soon as possible to determine eligibility.

In addition to the income eligibility requirements, the VA requires that any Aid and Attendance recipient must have served at least 90 days in the U.S. military, with at least one of those days during wartime. There are, however, no service-related disability requirements to meet, so eligibility is only dependent on financial-and employment-related factors. In sum, a U.S. veteran may be able to receive this sizable supplement if, in addition to the aforementioned factors, he or she requires the aid of another person to complete everyday tasks, defined by the VA to include “bathing, feeding, dressing, or going to the bathroom.”

If you are a United States veteran considering long-term care options, there are a number of ways Andrew Byers can help. Let us get started on a suitable long-term care plan. Serving clients in the areas in and around Auburn Hills, Michigan, we can be reached at 248.301.1511.


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