ARE VETERAN'S BENEFITS (VA BENEFITS) ONLY AVAILABLE FOR THOSE INJURED IN WAR?
No. A veteran, who is disabled or chronically ill and elderly, may receive veteran’s benefits, as a result of a service connected or non-service connected disability. When the benefit is service connected, it is referred to as “compensation.” When the benefit is non-service connected, it is referred to as “Improved Pension with Aid & Attendance (AA).”
IF A VETERAN DIES, CAN HIS/HER SPOUSE RECEIVE IMPROVED PENSION WITH AID & ATTENDANCE?
Yes. A surviving spouse may receive up to one-half of the non-service connected benefit that his or her spouse could have received. In 2017, the maximum amount that a Veteran with a spouse can be awarded for improved pension with aid and attendance is $2,127.00. His or her surviving spouse can receive a maximum amount of $1,153.00.
HOW MUCH CAN A VETERAN HAVE IN ASSETS TO QUALIFY FOR IMPROVED PENSION WITH AID & ATTENDANCE?
This depends on whether or not the Veteran is single or married. If the Veteran is old and single, his assets can not exceed the smallest amount allowed, as opposed to a young married couple that can have the greatest amount. These amounts are not published anywhere which makes planning very difficult. Elder Law Attorneys who regularly apply for Non-Service Connected Veteran’s benefits have more insight into these numbers than those attorneys who do not practice in this area.
DOES A VETERAN'S INCOME AFFECT HIS/HER QUALIFICATION FOR IMPROVED PENSION WITH AID & ATTENDANCE?
The Veteran’s income, as well as his or her spouse’s income, if any, reduces the amount of Un-Reimbursed Medical Expenses (UME’s). This, in turn, reduces the amount of monthly Improved Pension with Aid and Attendance. Un-reimbursed Medical Expenses are medical expenses that the Veteran and his or her spouse, if any, pay for directly but do not receive reimbursement for by insurance or any government program.
DOES ALL THE ASSETS OF A VETERAN AND HIS/HER SPOUSE, IF MARRIED, COUNT TOWARDS THE ASSET LIMIT?
No. A Veteran may have a home, automobile, funeral arrangements, tangible personal property, as well as a certain amount of savings, as discussed above.
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