According to the latest census figures, there are nearly 65,000 Veterans in the St. Louis area. Unfortunately, many may be unaware of certain benefits they’re eligible for, may have been told in the past they cannot receive benefits, or they may not know how to go about applying for those benefits. One of those is the Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit. Matt Allgeyer, Financial
Planner at Wamhoff Financial Planning and Accounting, explains the benefit, who qualifies, and what to do to get the process started.What is the Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit?
- This is a pension benefit paid tax-free to a Veteran or spouse of a Veteran by the United States government to help defray the cost of long-term care costs, including nursing home or assisted living expenses.
- Benefits range from $1,130 to over $2,100 per month.
- Benefits received are tax-free for long-term care.
What are the qualifications for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit?
- Veterans or their spouses must have served 90 consecutive days in the military, one day of which was during war time.
- Travel to the conflict location, and direct service at the conflict location, is not required. You simply must have served during an active period of war.
- The Veteran must have received a discharge other than dishonorable.
- The Veteran must pass the medical test, which requires the need for help with two activities of daily living. These activities include eating, bathing, dressing, transferring, toileting, and continence.
- In addition, you must be receiving care for these activities.
- You must pass a medical cost test, as well as an asset test.
Why Veterans should look into this benefit now:
- The government is considering a three-year look-back on benefits in the near future. Once the law is enacted, even if you prepare and meet all of the qualifications you will have a three-year wait to achieve the benefit.
- Currently there is no look-back on benefits, so with preparation, the Veteran can take advantage of the benefit without the waiting period.
- To get the process started, find a financial advisor or elder law attorney who specializes in this type of benefit planning. They can help you through the qualifications to achieve the benefits for the Veteran or spouse.
- Wamhoff specializes in this planning and can help answer any questions you may have.