Assisted Living and Veterans' Benefits: The Key Facts to Consider

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American House Florida

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Jul 17, 2023

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Florida - Sarasota, Bradenton & Charlotte Counties , Florida - Southwest

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There are many benefits available to veterans and their spouses. In fact, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers support through a benefits program known as VA Aid and Attendance.

What is VA Aid and Attendance?

According to resources from nvf.com, VA Aid and Attendance is a monthly pension benefit that provides tax-free payments to Veterans who served during wartime. In addition to being available for Veterans, single surviving spouses and dependent children are also eligible for this benefit. In order to qualify for this pension, the Veteran or their surviving family need to meet means-tested income and asset thresholds.

Who is Eligible?

First and foremost, for veterans and spouses, the Veteran had to serve during war time. The benefit is not for all veterans. They did not need to fight in the war, but they had to be active duty during war time. The Vet must have had an honorable discharge or discharge due to medical. 
When it comes to surviving spouses, they must have been married to the Vet up until his death. If they were divorced, there is no benefit. If they remarry after the death of the spouse, they do not get the benefit. Unless the new spouse is also a Vet. But they must be married for at least a year for the benefit to be used. 

How does it work?

The VA looks at your gross monthly income. The goal is to get your gross monthly income down to $0 by subtracting your monthly medical expenses. The VA does not consider gas, electric, cable, car payment, taxes. But they do care if someone is assisting with your medication, helping you get dressed, assisting in the shower or any other activities of daily living. 

Now consider this. With a Doctor’s Note that it is in the best interest of the patient to live at a Senior Community, they can count their rent as a medical expense. They must however get care for activities of daily living at a community, which would also be a medical expense. The VA does not count meals, laundry, housekeeping as an activity of daily living; it can include medication management, escorts to meals, shower assistance, morning and evening care, or toileting. They must have a minimum of two activities of daily living to qualify. 

How much does the VA pay out per month?

The VA mails a check monthly to the qualifying vet or surviving spouse and essentially, they can use that money in whatever way they wish. In 2023, the maximum amount a Vet can qualify for is $2,129 and surviving spouse $1,430. 

Take Away Facts:

  • This benefit is typically for veterans age 65 and older
  • You can own a home and still qualify
  • If you have more than approximately $138,000 in the bank you do not qualify
  • If you have been previously disqualified for VA benefits, you can apply again in the future once you qualify
  • It can take between 3-5 months to receive VA benefits, but they will be retroactive from the date on which you qualified.

For more information on VA Benefits and Qualifications Please Contact Rick Lemanski at 586-995-3570.

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