It’s going to be harder for veterans to qualify for a benefit that’s already little known.
According to a report on ElderLawAnswers, new rule changes finalized by the Department of Veterans Affairs will put in place “an asset limit, a lookback period and asset transfer penalties for claimants applying for VA pension benefits that require a showing of financial need.” At the top of the list of those benefits? Aid and Attendance.
The Aid and Attendance program can help veterans in need of long-term care. There had already been restrictions on income to qualify for the benefit, but the latest rules add more hoops to jump through.
New regulations limit vets to a net worth limit of $123,600, the same as a Medicaid applicant’s spouse may keep — but this includes both the applicant’s assets and income. There are also revisions to policies governing qualifying medical expenses to determine IVAP (the veteran’s household income minus all unreimbursed medical expenses).
There’s also a three-year lookback period now, which means that applicants who transferred assets to protect them will be penalized by being denied benefits for up to five years. There are exceptions; for instance, for transfers to a trust for a child who cannot “self-support.” There are also new transfer penalties for any gifts and/or transfers that were made at less than fair market value.