When the need arises for long-term care, the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs can help. Aid and Attendance is a special VA benefit that can help ease the financial impact of a loved one who requires in-home care, an assisted living facility or a nursing home. The pension varies in amount, contingent upon the health or medical condition of the veteran or dependent. In addition to financial need and military service requirements, the veteran or surviving spouse must show a need for “aid and attendance,” or assistance from another person with three or more activities of daily living: eating, dressing, toileting, bathing and mobility.

Often veterans or their dependents may eligible under the service and medical requirements, but do not qualify because of assets or income. There are a number of options to remedy this, including restructuring assets or setting up a VA Aid and Attendance Benefits Trust. These legal options can ensure your loved one receives the benefits owed, while ensuring that assets are protected.

In particular, families should be aware that the rules for giving under the VA and Medicaid are vastly different. While the VA does not consider asset transfers in its eligibility requirement, Medicaid does, and as a result Medicaid benefits can be delayed. With careful planning, we can help ensure that well-deserved and hard-earned VA Aid and Attendance benefits will not impact the ability to receive Medicaid as well.