November is the month during which we celebrate Veterans Day. Over the years millions of people have laid their lives on the line for our country, and we owe them a debt of gratitude. It is certainly not enough, but eligible veterans do receive valuable benefits in return for their service. One of these is the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension.
Long-Term Care Costs
Before we get into some of the details about the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension, let’s take a quick look at the current state of long-term care costs.
Last year, in the state of New York the average stay in a nursing home of over two years would cost in excess of $200,000. Long-term care communities cost well over $40,000 per year on average.
Medicare does not pay for long-term care. As a result, these expenses are stifling to many American senior citizens. Any assistance that may be available would certainly be welcomed by those who are faced with these extraordinary costs.
There are certain requirements that must be met to become eligible to receive the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension. When it comes to length of service, a minimum of 90 days is required. In addition, at least one of these days must have been served while the country was at war.
This benefit is for people who have financial need, but you don’t have to be completely indigent to qualify. If you own a vehicle and a home, this is not going to preclude you from eligibility. Some additional assets are allowable as well.
Though there has been legislation introduced to change things, traditionally there has been no look back period attached to Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension eligibility.
With the Medicaid program there is a look back period of five years. If you give away assets within five years of applying for the program your eligibility is delayed.
When it comes to the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension, there is no particular time constraint. You can give away assets today and apply next week without being penalized.
Clarity Regarding Military Retirement Pension
There is a military retirement pension that veterans earn after serving for at least 20 years in the armed services. This will provide a career service person with a monthly benefit that is calculated based on length of service coupled with pay rate at the time of retirement.
The Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension is something that exists completely separate from the military retirement pension. Many people hear the words “military” and “pension” and automatically assume that there is a 20 year requirement.
For this reason a significant percentage of those who could qualify for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension never apply, because they are confused about the length of service requirement.