The Elder and Disability Law Firm, APC Aug. 8, 2013

There are people who get themselves into trouble because they don't have enough information about long-term care. One of the misconceptions that some people buy into is the notion that it is unlikely that they will ever need long-term care. This idea flies in the face of reality. In fact, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services approximately 7 out of every 10 Americans who reach the age of 65 are going to need long-term care at some point in their lives.

Another thing that some people don't recognize is the fact that Medicare does not cover long-term care costs beyond 100 days. In 2010 the national average annual expense for a private room in a nursing home was around $83,500. The average length of stay was between two and four years, so as you can see you may be looking at a rather large expense when you reach an advanced age and any assistance that may be available is usually going to be welcome.

Medi-Cal planning can be done so that nursing home costs can be fully or partially paid for by Medi-Cal.

Nursing home placement may not be desirable, however. Most people prefer to stay in an assisted living facility or in their own homes with a caregiver, if placement in a nursing home is not necessary. They would also like to receive government benefit to help pay for the cost of an assisted living facility or a home caregiver.

With this in mind we would like to highlight an often overlooked veterans benefit called the Veterans Aid & Attendance special pension. To qualify you must need assistance with your day to day living needs, and the veteran has to have served in the military for at least 90 days with a minimum of one of the days taking place during wartime. Single veterans who qualify can receive up to $1731 per month as of this writing. A married couple could receive a maximum of $2,053 per month and a qualified surviving spouse could be entitled to as much as $1094 every month.

This benefit is probably not going to pay for all of your nursing home, home care or assisted living community expenses but it is certainly going to help if you do in fact qualify. To learn all the details, contact our office at 909-677-2671 and ask for a free booklet on VA's Aid and Attendance Benefits.

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