The Veterans Administration has issued new rules which drastically change the eligibility rules for the Veterans special medical pension commonly known as Aid & Attendance benefits. This pension provides income of approximately $2100 for a veteran with limited assets who needs assistance with his or her basic activities of daily living.
The agency will now impose a three year lookback period similar to the Medicaid five year lookback. However, the VA has announced that it will not penalize any transfers that take place before October 18th – the new rules effective date. Therefore a veteran or widow of a veteran can act now to protect their savings.
However, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable elder law attorney because gifts made to qualify for a Veterans pension could make you ineligible for Medicaid in the future.
The new rule includes a number of important changes. It raises and clarifies the amount of assets and income that a veteran can retain and still be eligible for the pensions (to $123,600). It also exempts transfers to trusts for a disabled child. The rule expands the allowable medical deductions and reaffirms that veteran's homes are excluded from consideration.