Have you heard of VA’s Improved Pension benefits, sometimes called Aid and Attendance? Over the years, we have found that many eligible veterans and their families do not know how much this benefit can assist them, and its existence comes as a happy surprise. It is critical that you work with attorneys who are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs, like Simon Stapleton and Ari Sommer. Both Simon and Ari would be happy to spend some time discussing your potential benefits with you. As with Medicaid, it is essential that you have skilled legal counsel who has been through this arduous government process numerous times.
General Qualifications for Non-Service Connected Improved Pension with Aid and Attendance – Veteran, Widowed Spouse, and Dependent or Disabled Child (any may be a claimant)
Veteran must have served at least ninety days active duty with one day of the ninety during a qualified war period (ninety days must generally be consecutive, with some exceptions).
Veteran must have had another than “Dishonorable” Discharge.
Claimant’s physician must declare him/her as in need of assistance from another individual, which may include services offered by an assisted living facility.
Claimant should have limited household assets; excluding primary home, car, and personal belongings. If assets are jointly owned by other than the spouse, only the claimant’s share is generally countable. In the case of a married veteran, both his/her assets are countable. There is no longer a current asset cap, per se. The VA now considers the claimant’s life expectancy in determining how much a claimant can have. In the case of assets over $50k, it may be best to consult an Elder Law Attorney. One should never transfer assets without the proper legal/professional advice.
Claimant’s household out-of-pocket yearly medical expenses must exceed or come close to his/her total yearly household gross income (total yearly cost of assisted living is typically considered a Medical expense).
Widowed spouse must have been married to the Veteran for at least one year OR have had children by the Veteran if married less than one year and never remarried (with possibly one very rare exception).
Widowed spouse must have been living with the Veteran at the time of the Veteran’s death, unless the separation was due to medical or military reasons (exceptions exist).
Minor or disabled adult children may qualify for limited benefits on their own.
2015 Maximum Pension Rates for Aid and Attendance:
Single Veteran: $1,788.00 Per Month or $21,466.00 Per Year
Married Veteran: $2,120.00 Per Month or $25,488.00 Per Year
Widowed Spouse: $1,149.00 Per Month or $13,794.00 Per Year
Veteran Married to Veteran: $2,837.00 Per Month or $34,050.00 Per Year
Once awarded aid and attendance or housebound status, a Veteran may obtain free medications, medical equipment, incontinence supplies, glasses, and hearing aids from the VA Hospital/Clinic via U.S. Mail. A separate application must be made through the Health Care System.
PERIODS OF WAR
World War II – December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946. If the veteran was in service on December 31, 1946, continuous service before July 26, 1947 is considered World War II service.
Korean Conflict – June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955.
Vietnam Era – February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975 for a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during this period. In all other cases, August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975.
Note: Each VA claim is unique and the above criteria is generic in nature and may not be applicable to each claimant. There are never any guarantees that any claim or specific benefit amount will be awarded.
Contact Us right away to attend a free workshop where we will discuss details of these important benefits!
What a great learning experience. Everyone there was always readily available and very knowledgeable.
Working with Mr. Stapleton and his very excellent staff was a complete pleasure. The resulting documents reflect their knowledge & dedication. I highly recommend their services.
Stapleton Elder Law is by far the best legal firm in our area. Their knowledge and skill is unmatched.
Simon and his office are professional, knowledgeable, and gives their all to making sure you get what you need!
I have utmost faith in Simon’s knowledge of elder law and recommend him highly to anyone looking for expert guidance in this area.
Great experience with Simon! He was efficient and professional. I can relax knowing that (my planning) is well taken care of.
Met when needed legal assistance for multiple family issues. Defined and proceeded to structure medical, trusts and will to protect wife, son, and grandchildren. Also, have amended my trust and feel it’s important to join the C.F.C. Plan [the Client and Family Care Plan] for other expected services.
You owe it to your beneficiaries to have your life’s/death’s plans defined.
I found Mr. Stapleton very calm, thoughtful and a good listener. He helped me with my questions and concerns.
Expedient, professional, and top-notch services. Extremely trustworthy and reliable. The best of the best.
I can say that I worked with Simon and his professional, awesome team and they have put my mind and heart to ease. Highly recommend.
Everyone in the firm is friendly, knowledgeable and professional. All your needs will be taken care of in a timely manner, with everything explained thoroughly.
Thank you for your concern and help in updating our legal documents. Being able to sign the papers in your office was great.
Jim and Mary A.
We’ve known Simon for the last 2-3 years he has worked with us to resolve a number of complex family issues. Simon’s manner is gentle, kind and reassuring; he instills confidence. We have great peace of mind knowing that he’s there for us. We have recommended him and will continue to do so we consider him more than just our attorney.
Gene and Kim Y.
Lovely, beautiful people. Jeannie is always friendly and pleasant and informative. The office has perfect lighting, and we’re always offered tea or coffee. The whole experience, though it could be a time of anxiety, becomes a very loving, relaxing experience. Who knew that taking care of our family’s future and “late” life business could be such a nurturing, caring experience?
Thank you for your wisdom, patience & support through this process. We always felt like we were in “good hands.”
Greene County, VA
The entire staff is compassionate to all aspects of dealing with the often times difficult and sensitive matters of estate planning and planning for your elder years. Top notch. Couldn’t be more satisfied.