Clients who have served in the military and face the prospect of needing long term care for themselves or their spouse, often have questions about benefits available through the Veterans Administration (“VA”). Often these discussions center around what are commonly referred to as the VA Pension Aid & Attendance (“PAA”) benefits. For certain veterans, and their spouses, this benefit can provide extra income to help with the cost of care in the home, or in an institutional setting.
But, as with any government program, eligibility for the PAA benefit is complicated. In addition to rules relating to the nature of their military service, there are financial eligibility rules that look at the income and assets of the applicant. Recently, the VA announced significant changes to these rules, including the rules related to how the asset limit is calculated, what is included in the “homestead exemption,” and rules that impose penalties if people transfer or give away assets in an attempt to become eligible.
The new rules discussed below are scheduled to take effect October 30, 2018.