The Veteran’s Administration, commonly referred to as the VA, announced three years ago that the rules for qualifying for Veteran’s Aid and pension benefits would be changing. It has taken longer than anticipated to finalize the proposed rules which will be going into effect on October 30, 2018.
These rules will make qualifying for certain veteran’s benefits more difficult. The first challenge is that a look-back period, similar to Medicaid but shorter by 2 years, will be added. While Medicaid has a look-back period of 5 years, the VA will impose a 3 year look-back period on any asset transfers made by the veteran.
The rules also impose a net worth limit that mirrors the Medicaid rules. The limit is $123,600. Net worth is determined by combining the annual income and assets of both the veteran and his or her spouse. This does not include the value of the primary residence; however, the new rule imposes a 2-acre limit on the property surrounding your primary residence. You are also allowed to deduct any medical expenses from the annual income amount. There are some very specific rules as to what qualifies and how this can be accomplished.
Filing a claim for Veteran’s Aid can be very complex in light of these new changes going into effect. There is also a considerable amount of overlap in planning for VA benefits and Medicaid benefits. To learn more about your options for these types of benefits, contact an experienced Elder Law attorney in the Woburn, Massachusetts area.