Wednesday, May 18, 2016

VA Benefit for homecare, assisted living, or nursing home facility

VA Non-Service Connected Benefit
I normally do not like to do long blogs but this information is too important and most people eligible for this benefit do not even know it exists. This benefit is a monetary non-service-connected pension benefit this is different from a Service Connect Disability Pension.
Do you know a veteran or surviving spouse who might need assistance with homecare, assisted living, or nursing home facility? Veterans or surviving spouses 65 and older may not know how to file for this benefit and continue to go without the help they need. The veteran or surviving spouse can choose any facility aligned with their finances or a provider can document the need for a caregiver. The veteran and the spouse cannot receive the benefit at the same time.
There are two different pensions: “Aid and Attendance" and "Housebound."
The Aid & Attendance (A&A) increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount if you meet one of the following conditions:
•You require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment
•You are bedridden, in that your disability or disabilities requires that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment
•You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity
•Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less
This increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount when you are substantially confined to your immediate premises because of permanent disability
Caregivers get any financial assistance for caring for a veteran. Caregivers/spouses/family members of a veteran may get tax free money for taking care of a veteran or surviving spouse. Like all programs the person must meet all eligibility requirements to receive the money.   
VA pension benefit can cover a portion of nursing home care if the veteran or surviving spouse is paying for the care out of pocket. Since with some exceptions, assisted living is un-reimbursed by insurance, the money from the VA pension can be the difference that allows the veteran or surviving spouse to afford the cost of assisted living.
Don’t forget add in your social security income sources to the VA pension. Putting these two benefits together allows many veterans to afford the monthly bill for assisted living
The question we should all explore is who is eligible?
The Aid and Attendance and Housebound pensions are non-service-connected pensions, which are for veterans whose disability or death was not caused by or aggravated by in the line of duty in active military. These pensions are not to be confused with VA service-connected disability compensation payments, which are for veterans whose disability was caused by an illness or combat-related injury while in the line of duty in the active military.
Wartime service veterans may be entitled to receive an Aid and Attendance pension or a Housebound pension if they meet the following eligibility requirements:

Annual family net income (income minus expenses) see an example on how to calculate your income and expenses on the VA website.
PLEASE bear in mind: The VA reduces countable income by subtracting the medical expenses associated with out-of-pocket costs such as assisted living or home care. Many veterans and surviving spouses have negative net income and meet this income requirement.

A wartime service veteran must be permanently and totally disabled. For VA pension purposes, permanent and total disability means that with reasonable certainty the veteran will not be able to maintain a substantially gainful job due to his or her disability. The disability must be non-service-connected and not due to willful misconduct. Nonservice-connected means that the disability must not have been caused or aggravated by military service.

The veteran must have care-needs requirements. To meet these requirements, a veteran typically receives care in an assisted living facility or receives non-medical home care services. A physician must document the need for these caregiver services.

The veteran must have had ninety days or more of active military service, at least one day of which was served during official wartime. To have served during wartime, the veteran did not need to see combat. For example, the veteran may have served in Alaska during World War II and still be eligible.

Check for exceptions! Veterans who entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally must have served 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty. There are exceptions to this rule; check with a veteran service officer (VSO) for details.

The veteran's discharge must be honorable or general and not be due to willful misconduct.

How to apply:
You can write to the Pension Management Center that serves your state or you can find assistance at your local VA facility. A great source of information is veteran service organizations, such as the regional offices of the American Legion, DAV, and VFW. Another great source is A Place for Mom, connecting Mom, Dads, and families to senior living assistance and information. They also help Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Sisters, Brothers, and even friends or neighbors. A Place for Mom representative was the one who first told me about this benefit.

If they are currently living in their home, contact a certified Senior Real Estate Specialist, like me, to help facilitate any real estate needs. Go to and leave me your contact information. If I can’t help you, I have a great network of people across the country who can.

Catherine Seybold
Sales Agent
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Military Relocation Professional
Senior Real Estate Specialist

"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represents Coldwell Banker positions, strategies or opinions."

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