Do you or a loved one qualify for this VA benefit?
While there are some strict regulations governing benefit eligibility, there is a measure of flexibility built into the VA Improved Pension which allows for more veterans and their spouses to qualify that it might seem at first glance. Take a look at some of the individuals who have been awarded the benefit with the help of our office.
Sam is 91 and lives in an assisted living facility. His monthly income is roughly $3500 but his facility costs are $5000. Sam had assets of over $200,000 and needed to restructure his finances in order to qualify. The VA allows for asset movement and has no "look back" period unlike Medicaid. Sam was able to transfer some of his assets, sheltering them for future care needs, and was awarded the VA benefit with our assistance.
Meet Robert and Joan.
Robert is 88 and lives in his own home where his family cares for him and his wife. Robert's daughter is the primary care provider. She handles her parents' finances, manages their medications, and makes sure that all their personal care needs are met. Even though Robert's income exceeded the income cap, he was able to qualify once we applied allowable deductions to lower his countable income.
Pauline is the surviving spouse of a Korean war veteran. Even though Pauline lives in an independent living facility, she was able to qualify for the VA benefit. Pauline requires care but could not afford the move to an assisted living facility without the assistance of the Improved Pension. Pauline's daughter served as her care provider until the benefit was awarded. The additional $1100 per month allowed Pauline to relocate to a facility that offered more care services.
Eileen and her husband had saved for their retirement for years. They had an investment account, annuities, and CDs which provided some financial security. After her husband's stroke, nursing home costs depleted half of the couple's savings. After her husband's passing, Eileen's care needs increased and she moved into an assisted living facility. Eileen still had a significant savings but knew from sad experience how quickly that money would disappear if she used it to meet the monthly discrepancy between her income and the facility costs. Eileen moved her assets into a trust, to save them for any future nursing home costs she might incur, and filed for the VA benefit. Eileen was awarded the benefit her husband earned through his service to the nation.