For Immediate Release
October 9, 2018
Contact: Abby Matienzo, Communications Manager
NAELA Prepares for Major Changes to Veterans’ Aid and Attendance Benefits
VA will penalize any gifts and other transfers of resources for less than fair market value that occurred in the three years prior to applying for needs-based benefits.
Washington, DC — On September 18, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) issued major changes to its Veterans Pension, including “Aid and Attendance,” and other needs-based benefits. The rules go into effect on October 18, 2018.
“This is a major change and understanding its full impact on veterans who need long-term services and supports (LTSS) will take time.” says Michael Amoruso, Esq., President of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.
By law, veterans who served during wartime, or their spouse, may qualify for a needs-based pension. Those who require LTSS may qualify for an enhancement known as “Aid and Attendance.” Aid and Attendance benefits can pay a little more than $2,000 a month at its maximum.
Individuals in need of LTSS pay on average $7,148 a month for a semi-private nursing home room and $3,750 a month in an assisted living facility. While Aid and Attendance cannot cover all LTSS expenses, it can help to offset them. The benefit has helped many Veterans and their spouses pay for LTSS without needing to impoverish themselves for Medicaid.
The biggest change to the program is that the VA will now penalize any gifts and other transfers of resources for less than fair market value that occurred in the three years prior to applying. Importantly though, the VA will not look at any gifts or other transfers prior to October 18, 2018.
“Although more vague, the rules prior to October 18 are much less restrictive, so it’s still possible to do some immediate planning now that will not be penalized under the new rules.” said Amoruso.
Learn more about NAELA’s advocacy and public policy efforts.
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Upon joining, NAELA member attorneys agree to adhere to the NAELA Aspirational Standards. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. The mission of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is educate, inspire, serve, and provide community to attorneys with practices in elder and special needs law. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NAELA.org, or to locate a NAELA member attorney in your area, visit NAELA.org/FindLawyer.
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