There are way too many people who don't know about veterans assisted living benefits that can make the difference in the quality of care and the homes they can choose.
If you are a war-time veteran (no you do not have to have seen combat or serve overseas) you probably have not been told about a VA benefit that could give you up to $23,388 a year to help pay for assisted living.
There are literally thousands of veterans and their widowed surviving spouses who are struggling everyday with finding funds to pay for their care and living space at assisted livings across the United States of America. Why is this happening is the biggest question.
The reason, it is a government run program from a government agency, the VA. Is there really anything more to say?
Here are the 5 things you need to know to see if you too are one of the eligible veterans missing out on this financial assistance benefit.
- You need to have served 90 days of active duty with just one of those days during an official stated time of war. (WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War I and Gulf War 2)
- You can no longer be driving. This is a biggie, but you have to be housebound by VA standards and that means not being able to safely drive a vehicle.
- You need to have your physician state on a form that you need assistance of another individual with activities of daily living. These are things like assistance bathing, grooming, hygiene, attending to the needs of nature, etc. (There are many more but too many to list in this article. See VeteransCareAdvisors dot com for a complete and comprehensive list)
- The benefit is also dependent on your financial need. The first in based on your total liquid assets. This amount needs to be less than around $80,000 and does not include your primary home, car and personal property. It does include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IRA's, 401K, bank accounts, cash and collectibles. But here is the best part! There currently is no look back period. That means if you are over today you can use common estate planning techniques and be eligible tomorrow!
- The last financial criteria is based on your income. You countable income needs to be below a certain level established each year. But, again here is the best part! The VA uses what they call COUNTABLE income. That means you can subtract certain medical and care expenses from your income to bring your countable income down to the qualifying amount.
The income criteria are the ones that trip most people up. Not because they can't qualify but because they are not told what they can do to meet these 2 criteria.
There is a veteran in California that has a monthly income of $5,000 per month from Social Security and Retirement Pension and he gets $1,644 each month in financial assistance from the VA!
He lives in an Assisted Living Facility and that expense coupled with his other qualified medical expenses his "countable income" now meets the financial eligibility criteria.
Another widowed surviving spouse in North Carolina had $150,000 in savings after selling her house and was spending this down paying for her veterans assisted living cost. Simply by learning the true information (which was different from what the county VA officer told her) about this VA aid and attendance benefit she too is getting financial assistance from the VA equal to $1,057 each month.
What About You?
Isn't it time that you found out if you too can get this VA financial assistance. Veterans assisted living options have never been better. Don't let your $23,388 not get paid to you.
Greg Cook is a consultant with extensive experience dealing with governmental agencies in the financial world and with major non-profit organizations. He has helped hundreds of senior citizens successfully navigate the long term care industry including veterans assisted living benefit.
He is a senior advocate, geriatric care manager and a Certified Senior Advisor. To learn more about how to qualify for up to $1,949 per month in VA financial assistance, visit Mr. Cook's website; Veterans Care Advisors dot com.