Cona Elder Law


New VA Aid & Attendance Eligibility Rules Effective as of October 18, 2018

The Veterans Administration has issued new rules which drastically change the eligibility for Veterans and spouses to receive Aid & Attendance pension benefits.  It is critical that Veterans and spouses take action now to protect assets before the new rules take effect on October 18, 2018.

Net Worth

  • Asset limit: $130,773
  • Net worth includes monthly income.  Monthly income is multiplied by 12 and added to total assets.  
  • Certain medical expenses can be deducted from income (see below).

Look-Back and Penalty Periods

  • 3 year (36 month) look-back period
  • Penalty period assessed on asset transfers made during 3 year look-back
  • Applicant can return assets and un-do a penalty period (in whole or in part) within 60 days of a penalty period decision 
  • Penalty period cannot exceed 5 years
  • Transfers to a trust for a disabled child will not be penalized

Real Property

  • Primary residence is excluded from net worth
  • Acreage limit:  Primary residence plus 2 acres is excluded.  Additional acreage will be counted toward net worth unless it is unmarketable.
  • Proceeds from the sale of real property, after benefit entitlement, will not be counted as an asset as long as the proceeds are used to purchase another property within the same calendar year.

Deductible Medical Expenses

Payments for meals, lodging, health care, custodial care and other services provided by a facility (assisted living, independent living, etc.) are deductible medical expenses as long as the Veteran:

  • Resides in a facility that is staffed 24 hours/day
  • Needs assistance with 2 Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Payment for assistance with Activities of Daily Living by an in-home attendant are medical expenses as long as the attendant provides the Veteran with health care or custodial care.

Call to Action

Protect Your Assets!

Create an Asset Protection Trust before October 18, 2018.  

The Veterans Administration will not “look back” before the effective date of the new rule (October 18, 2018).  The VA will disregard any asset transfers made before that date.

You can protect your assets without any penalty periods if you act now!

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