Veteran Aid and Attendance Benefit

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Ana-Maria57
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Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:13 am

Veteran Aid and Attendance Benefit

Post by Ana-Maria57 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:09 pm

Friends,

My sister and I are facing placing my 95 year old mother in assisted living. She is almost at 100% in need of care for daily living. The costs that we are looking at would drain my mother's assets in about two years. I recently learned about the Veteran Aid and Attendance Benefit. My Dad served in WW II for three years. He left the service after the war and worked for the federal government. He passed away in 2005 and left a survivor pension for my mother.

My parents were married in 1946.

I am trying to determine if my mother would qualify for this benefit. Here is her information:
Income:
Federal survivor pension: $51,200
Social Security: $15,400
Dividends and Interest: $800
Costs:
Assisted Living apartment: $4675 per month
Assisted Living monthly assistance: $1800 per month
Assets:
Money Market Funds: $60,000
Checking account $9,000

I am not sure how to determine If she would qualify for any benefit. We are certainly concerned about her money running out, and the costs for a higher level of care. Any advice would be tremendously helpful.

Thank you.

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Kenkat
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Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Veteran Aid and Attendance Benefit

Post by Kenkat » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:20 pm

I believe her income will be too high to qualify for Aid and Attendance. I would look for a facility that will agree to keep her and accept assignment of pension, social security and medicaid if her money runs out. She has decent income given the situation and my experience based on my in-laws (now passed on - Dad was also a WW2 vet) is that nicer facilities will accept you based on current income and savings with a promise to keep you if money runs out. No promise is iron-clad of course but these are typically religiously oriented organizations with a strong history and commitment to aiding the community.

_james
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Re: Veteran Aid and Attendance Benefit

Post by _james » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:32 pm

I would contact your local regional benefits office at a VA facility:

Office Locator: https://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/offices.asp

It never hurts to ask. Even if they determine her to be ineligible they may know of another program.

Aid & Attendance page: https://www.benefits.va.gov/pension/aid ... ebound.asp

Topic Author
Ana-Maria57
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Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:13 am

Re: Veteran Aid and Attendance Benefit

Post by Ana-Maria57 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:54 pm

Would we be able to deduct the cost of the apartment and the assisted care in determining her income? If that is the case, her income is negative. I am not sure how this is calculated. Thanks again.

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Kenkat
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Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Veteran Aid and Attendance Benefit

Post by Kenkat » Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:32 pm

Some things are deductible but it depends a little on determination of “medically necessary” by the VA. The assisted care more likely (part of the apartment might get considered regular living expenses) but it may be worth talking to the VA about it or applying. One positive is that her assets are below the threshold which is the first thing that ruled out my in-laws even before any income calculations.

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jeffyscott
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Location: Wisconsin

Re: Veteran Aid and Attendance Benefit

Post by jeffyscott » Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:02 pm

Ana-Maria57 wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:09 pm
The costs that we are looking at would drain my mother's assets in about two years.
Are you sure about your 2 year estimate?

Ignoring the dividends and interest, income is $66,600 or $5550 per month, expenses are $6475 per month, so she comes up short by $925 per month. Assets are $69,000, that is enough to cover about 74 months of a $925 shortfall, that would be a bit over 6 years.

I'm sure there are some other expenses, like medications, but to run out in 2 years she would need to be spending about $100K per year or almost $2000 per month beyond the assisted living costs.
Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy. - John C. Bogle

Lalamimi
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Re: Veteran Aid and Attendance Benefit

Post by Lalamimi » Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:38 pm

File for the aid ASAP. Even if it takes months, once approved (if she is), then it pays retroactive back to the date you filed. I see someone posted the links. Some assisted living facilities have a military liaison to help with this, or contact an American Legion, etc. Is there a VA facility in your city?
I tried to get this for mom for several years, but she was in her 80s and upset that we thought she needed help. Finally got it all filed Dec 1 and she became very ill Dec 12, moved her to a great assisted living the day she got out of hospital, and the VA rep actually came to meet her that day to approve her ( January by this point).
Good luck.

willift
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Re: Veteran Aid and Attendance Benefit

Post by willift » Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:44 pm

Can't comment on the specifics of your financial numbers but on the surface it looks like you should be able to qualify for some benefit. Our family got it for my Dad a few years back and used one of the local "advocates" to help file claim. Found this website after a quick search. Wouldn't pay anyone to help file your claim. There a plenty of free advice resources out there.

https://americanveteransaid.com/aid-attendance-benefit/

Katietsu
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Re: Veteran Aid and Attendance Benefit

Post by Katietsu » Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:25 pm

Is this a HCOL area? Are the costs for assisted living not nursing home? In my area, her income would cover a nice assisted living situation. But I know this varies greatly with geography.

Anyway, I responded to say that you should understand the rules for subtracting assisted living costs as medical expense. It sounds like she might qualify to deduct her room and board as well as the actual medical care.This should reduce her federal taxes to zero.But you need to have your documentation in place before the expense is incurred.

Dottie57
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Re: Veteran Aid and Attendance Benefit

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:09 pm

I looked at Aid and Attendance for my dad five years ago. I think the assets are too high.

This link may be of help

https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/vet ... ns-pension

Here is the VA site

https://www.va.gov/pension/aid-attendance-housebound/

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