Are you a veteran or surviving spouse of a veteran who served during World War II, Korea, or Vietnam?
If so, the VA is about to make some drastic rule changes to could impact your eligibility for a little-known VA benefit for war-time veterans.
In the next couple of months, new rules are going to be implemented by the Veterans Administration that will make qualifying for the Non-Service Connected benefit (also known as “Aid and Attendance”) very challenging.
The Aid & Attendance benefit helps pay for unreimbursed medical expenses (not covered by Medicare or a Medicare Supplement) for Veterans and or spouse or widow. The new regulations will make this benefit available to fewer Veterans and/or their spouses.
EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT YET INCURRING MEDICAL EXPENSES,
ANY VETERAN OR SURVIVING SPOUSE WHO BELIEVES
THEY MAY BE IN NEED OF CARE WITHIN THE
NEXT THREE YEARS MUST ACT QUICKLY!
For the first time, specific asset limitations for qualifying will be put in place. Under the new proposed regulations, a limit of $119,220 of combined ASSETS AND INCOME for either a married couple or single individual will be allowed. While your house will continue to not be a countable asset, there will now be a TWO ACRES LIMIT on the acreage your home. If you live on a farm or a large tract of land, this will be a huge challenge for you to receive the Pension Benefit!
The regulations will also establish a three-year look-back provision and drastic “transfer penalties” similar to Medicaid. Under the current rules, if you have too many assets to qualify for the Aid & Attendance Benefit, it is an easy fix to set up a “Veterans Trust” for your family, transfer the excess assets to the trust, and you will immediately qualify for the Aid and Attendance Benefit. Under the new regulations, Veterans or their surviving spouse who transfer assets within three years of applying for benefits will be subject to a “penalty period” that can last as long as TEN YEARS.
There is a complex calculation to determine the penalty period. However, the penalty period for a surviving spouse would be almost TWICE as long as the penalty period for a Veteran who transfers the same amount of assets into a trust.
THE REGULATIONS COULD TAKE AFFECT ANYTIME!
The consensus among elder law attorneys is that Veterans Trusts established before the rule changes go into effect will be "grandfathered" into the current favorable rules. (We believe that it will be similar to Medicaid in that planning completed before the enactment date will be grandfathered in under the old rules.) However, we cannot guarantee this because the regulations and the effective date have NOT been finalized! (The latest ‘buzz’ suggests that the rule change will happen Summer 2016, but it could happen sooner.) We are alerting you to these changes so that you MAY have an opportunity to create a trust BEFORE the new regulations are put into place, thereby, hopefully avoiding the new restrictions.
THE NEW REGULATIONS ARE LIFE CHANGING!
We're trying to get the word out to Veterans and their families. If you know other wartime veterans (or their family members), please share this important information with them. We want to make sure wartime veterans and their family members understand that TIME IS RUNNING OUT! There is no longer the possibility of waiting to set up a trust until you or your loved one needs care! Setting up a Vet Trust NOW could mean the difference between having enough money to afford in-home care or assisted living have to depend on family members to provide all care or moving to a nursing home!
- Are you 65 years of age or older?
- Did you or your spouse serve at least 90 days of active duty service?
- Did you or your spouse serve at least one day of active duty service during the following dates:
- WWII: 12/7/41-12/31/46
- Korea War: 6/27/50-1/31/55
- Vietnam War: 8/5/64-5/7/75 (2/28/61-5/7/75 if located in Vietnam)
- Persian Gulf War: 8/2/1990-TBD
If you answered “Yes” to the above questions, then you need to learn about this
important VA benefit that many don’t even know about!
CALL CAROLINA FAMILY ESTATE PLANNING
TODAY at 919-443-3035 to schedule a FREE, no-obligation,
phone conference to discuss whether this benefit is appropriate for you.