** Legal Alert **
Senate Proposal to Impose
Penalty Periods for Veterans Benefits
Senator Ron Wyden (D-Or.) introduced legislation in the United States Senate calling for the imposition of a look-back period and penalty periods -- like those imposed for Medicaid eligibility -- in connection with applications for Veteran's pension benefits, including Aid and Attendance benefits.
The Aid and Attendance benefit, available through the Department of Veterans Affairs, is a non-service connected pension benefit for Veterans or spouses who require the aid and attendance of another individual to perform the personal functions required in everyday living. This benefit has proved to be very helpful to those Veterans and/or spouses who reside in assisted living facilities or who receive care at home not covered by Medicaid.
In addition to service requirements, the Veteran or spouse cannot have more than $80,000 in total assets. Currently, the Veteran/spouse can transfer assets, either outright or to a trust, and be eligible immediately for the Aid and Attendance benefit. If Senator Wyden's proposal becomes law, these Veterans will be subject to a three-year look back period and penalty periods based upon the monthly pension sought.
The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) undertook a year long study on this issue and revealed its findings before the Senate Special Committee on Aging, at which time Senator Wyden introduced his bill.
At this time, this is simply a proposal, not a law, and the bill has to follow all rule-making procedures. We will keep you informed as we follow this proposed legislation.
Summary of 2012 Aid and Attendance Benefits:
Veteran - $1,704/month
Veteran and Spouse - $2,020/month
|Surviving Spouse - $1094/month
Cona Elder Law is committed to helping Veterans and their families plan for their future needs, prepare to meet the costs of care, and protect assets for the next generation. Cona Elder Law attorneys are leaders in the filed of Elder Law and Estate Planning and are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs to represent Veterans and their families.
Cona Elder Law is a full service law firm based in Melville, LI. Our firm concentrates in the areas of elder law, estate planning, estate administration and litigation, special needs planning and health care facility representation. We are proud to have been recognized for our innovative strategies, creative techniques and unparalleled negotiating skills unendingly driven toward our paramount objective - satisfying the needs of our clients.
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