Veterans’ pension benefits are extremely valuable to the elderly veterans and their families who take advantage of them. These benefits help defray the high cost of long-term care by providing an additional stream of income, allowing them to keep more of their assets and deplete their savings at a much slower rate when faced with a long-term care need. As opposed to many other Veterans’ benefits, this pension benefit is available not only to the Veteran, but also can be used by the surviving spouse. Additionally, a Veteran can use pension benefits in the event his or her spouse is the one that needs the care. Veterans’ pension can be used to pay a caregiver in the home, including family caregivers, to pay for adult day care services, to pay for services in a facility, or to pay for prescriptions or medical services. The requirements and qualifications for these programs are complicated and it can take many months to obtain the benefits for which you qualify. Those who attempt to get these benefits, without any guidance or planning, often have to wait three months, six months or even a year or more only to find out that they were not eligible. A claimant’s income and net worth must be within established thresholds to be eligible for the Veterans’ pension benefit. However, having high income or a large net worth does not automatically disqualify an individual from being eligible for these benefits, it just makes it a necessity to get good advice prior to making your application.
Personal Care Agreements
In certain circumstances there may be a child or loved one who is available and able to care for you. Personal Care Agreements are just that. They are agreements with another person that you will pay them to care for you. The amount that is charged and how it is paid are all negotiable and may be in a lump sum. It is vital that a lawyer sets this up for you. By being in writing and done properly, the care agreement prevents the State from viewing the payment as a gift subject to the five (5) year look-back rule. Often, a parent will sell their home or an interest in their home to a child in exchange for a lifetime of care.
Top 10 mistakes on Veterans Benefits Claims
- Failing to disclose required information.
- Failing to provide supporting papers.
- Applying for the wrong benefits.
- Applying for benefits when not eligible.
- Completing the wrong forms.
- Completing the forms incorrectly.
- Not completing all needed forms.
- Not signing the form properly
- Assuming you don't qualify.
- Not getting advice from an elder care attorney.
How we can help
The VA accredited attorneys at Zacharia Brown are here to assist you in navigating the Veterans’ Pension Claims Process. Whether it be developing a plan to create eligibility for benefits, helping to locate caregiving resources, ensuring a claimant is receiving the maximum pension they are entitled to, appealing adverse decisions of the VA, or maintaining a claimant’s eligibility into the future, we will be your advocate and prepare you for what to expect throughout the process. Taking advantage of the VA pension will provide a more secure financial future for our Veterans and their families and provide them the means to attain the level of care they most certainly deserve.