Veterans VA Benefits
Veterans benefits (also known as VA benefits) are separate and distinct from Medicaid benefits. Most veterans are unaware of substantial veterans benefits available to them. They only consider service-connected disabilities (SCD) and if they have none, they seldom pursue other benefits. This is unfortunate since there are numerous pension-related benefits for a veteran, the most important of which is the Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit for veterans over age 65.
If long-term care medical costs, either at home or in an assisted living facility or a nursing home, exceed an over-65 veteran’s income, the veteran may be entitled to this benefit subject to a resource qualification which can be met with planning. The 2017 amounts for the benefit are substantial: For a veteran and spouse both in need of long-term care, the monthly benefit is $2,127; for a veteran alone , $1,794 per month; and for a veteran is widow/ widower in need of long-term care, $1,155 per month. There is, unfortunately, no benefit for an infirmed spouse of a living veteran.
When long-term care is being privately paid prior to Medicaid eligibility, this Aid and Attendance benefit is a substantial monetary aid.
These veterans benefits have different rules from the Medicaid rules noted elsewhere. Most notably, there vis no current five-year look-back penalty of Medicaid like become eligible for the VA benefit but the VA is currently considering a three year look back penalty. This and other veterans benefits are set forth in a federal booklet titled “Federal Benefits for Veterans.” (Call 800-827-1000 for a print copy) or visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website for additional information: www.va.gov.
Veterans benefits are in addition to potential eligibility for New Jersey state veterans homes in Menlo Park, Paramus and Vineland. The quality of these state VA homes is excellent and parallels the quality ratings of most private pay nursing homes. The waiting list may be long and priority is given to veterans with service-connected disabilities.
Veterans Benefits Facts
Few of our clients are aware that:
- Both retired veterans and their widows are entitled to benefits provided:
- Discharge was other than dishonorable.
- They are disabled or over age 65.
- They served at least 90 days of active duty with one day during a declared war without requirements for battlefield service.
- Certain family income limits are met.
- In addition to service-related disability benefits for a veteran, there are pension benefits such as Aid and Attendance (A&A) available to provide care aides (including family members) to homebound (not bedridden) vets/spouses/widows and to assisted living and nursing home residents.
- Vince Macri is one of very few attorneys in the tri-county and New Jersey region accredited by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.