Veteran Wartime Pension – Benefit Update

**Veteran Wartime Pension
Benefit Update – Effective Oct 18, 2018**

VA pension is a monthly cash benefit available to wartime Veterans or surviving spouses of wartime Veterans who have limited income and assets and need care. For the last few years the Department of Veteran Affairs has been reviewing and considering changes to eligibility policy to make the rules more inline with Federal Medicaid rules and to eliminate the abuse of the program by unscrupulous companies.

On September 18, 2018, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officially amended the rules regarding eligibility for VA pension. These new rules have drastically changed VA pension planning but also will significantly reduce the misrepresentation of companies that offer services such as financial planning or the purchase of annuities to obtain these benefits. The rules will go into effect October 18, 2018.

OVERVIEW OF RULE CHANGES:

1. NET WORTH – There is now a bright-line rule regarding the amount of assets that a Veteran can own and still be approved for needs-based. This asset limit is currently set at $123,600.00 and will increase each year. The calculation to remember is Asset + Gross Annual income (minus UME’s)= total calculated asset.

2. TRANSFER OF ASSET-  Transfers of assets will now be subject to a look-back period of 36 months.
This definition does not include any transfers prior to October 18, 2018.

3. MEDICAL EXPENSES deduction-  The definition of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) has been changed to add “ambulating within the home or living area”. In-home care for a claimant must be from a licensed health care provider unless a qualified medical professional state in writing that the claimant requires the health care or custodial care provide by the in-home attendant. As well, the final rules provided much more clarification and leniency when it comes to care in a facility other than a nursing home or assisted living facility. The deduction of unreimbursed medical expenses continues to be a very crucial element to ensure the success of the application.

As always, it is important to reach out to knowledgeable Benefit Advocates when interested in obtaining any benefit that assist with cost of care. For more information, please contact Benefit Results, LLC and ask to speak to a Benefit Coach, we will be pleased to guide you to the answers you need.