The Elder and Disability Law Firm, APC Sept. 11, 2014

The Veterans Aid & Attendance special pension is in place to help former service members cover their assisted living and home caregiver costs. Unlike the retirement pension the length of service requirement is minimal. One must have served for at least 90 days with a minimum of one of these days taking place while the United States was at war.

This benefit is earmarked for veterans who have some degree of financial need. As a result, there is an $80,000 upper resource limit. If your total assets exceed this amount you cannot receive the Veterans Aid & Attendance special pension. However, often a veteran cannot receive benefit even if he has less than $80,000. There are several factors to consider in determining how much can be owned by a veteran, including his or her age, income and the costs of assisted living care of home care.

Before you assume that you cannot qualify you should know that your home, your vehicle, and some of your personal possessions are not considered to be countable toward this figure. And, at the present time you could place resources into a trust or give gifts to loved ones who would otherwise be inheriting these resources eventually in an effort to stay within the limit.

However, there is a possible change to the above pending. A measure has been introduced into the Senate that would impose a three-year look back period on the Veterans Aid & Attendance pension. Divesting yourself of assets within three years of applying for the program would disqualify you from eligibility.

If you are a veteran who is interested in planning ahead for the future, the intelligent first step is to sit down and discuss everything with a San Bernardino estate planning lawyer who is dedicated to serving those who have served their country with honor.

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