Articles Posted in Veteran Benefits


For veterans living in assisted living facilities (or who expect to be), one of their greatest fears is running out of money and being forced to move into a nursing home paid for by Medicaid.

If you are in this situation (or your parents are), then this is the fear that keeps you up at night.

Unlike some of our fears, this is a reasonable fear.


Sometimes veterans, or surviving spouses, are reluctant to accept the Pension money (also called Aid & Attendance or Disability funds) because they don’t want “charity” or something they did not earn.

But you did earn the money.

As Abraham famously said on March 4, 1865, “the debt owed to America’s veterans is to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and for his orphan.”


Most counties have someone who is to help veterans and these good folks are normally trained by the VA.

But unfortunately sometimes these folks don’t even know about the VA Pension disability benefits.

Even some of the Veteran Service Organizations (American Legion, VFW, etc) don’t know about it or don’t know how to properly advise veterans.


No. There is no penalty period (sometimes called a “look back”) for gifting any excess assets to family members or to a trust. This differs, in ways, from Medicaid which does have a five year look back period to see if you gave up any assets.

The VA does prohibit transferring assets to a dependent as the dependents income and assets will be considered the veteran’s income and assets.

The VA only looks at what are your assets as of the date of the application.


To receive VA Pension payments for being disabled, or over the age of 65, or a surviving spouse of a wartime veteran, the VA looks at your “Income for Veterans Administration Purposes” (IVAP) and your net worth.

The net worth, for VA purposes, does not include:

1. Your home (regardless of value);


The VA Pension benefits are available for veterans that qualify — they are so important because these benefits (up to $2000 a month) can be the difference between you (or your parents) staying in your home and receiving home health, or staying in an assisted living facility that you enjoy, rather than making that final move to a nursing home.

These benefits may also allow a spouse to remain living in her home while her husband, the veteran, is at an assisted living facility.

Let’s face it — the costs of even assisted living facilities is very high every month. Home health can be expensive. Even just hiring “sitters” to stay with us or our elderly relatives can quickly drain even a substantial amount of money.


Presidential candidate Mitt Romney made a very important statement in one of his speeches today:

“Veteran benefits are not a gift that is given but a debt that is due.”

We have discussed this before — veteran benefits including the VA Pension or Aid and Attendance is not a gift; it is not a handout; it is not charity. It is a benefit that was earned.

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