By Steve Wright
As many veterans age, they begin to think about planning for their potential long term care needs. This means looking at options to pay such as long term care insurance and Medicaid. However, for veterans who served during a period of war, another option exists. This option is known as Aid and Attendance.
Aid and Attendance is a pension paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs each month to a veteran or their surviving spouse. This pension is beginning to gain traction, however, it is still not well known, and many veterans do not even know that this pension exist. As a result, millions of dollars in funding goes unused each year, and instead veterans are spending every penny they have worked a lifetime to earn in order to receive or provide care for themselves or a loved one. Additionally, many veterans who discover that this pension exists often contact uninformed “experts” who mislead them as to whether or not they qualify.
Most of these experts inform people that they have to be at or below poverty levels in order to qualify. However, this is not true at all. While there are asset and income limits that apply, many do not realize that with proper estate planning, a veteran or their surviving spouse may be able to qualify for this pension without resorting to shopping in the cat food isle. So instead, veterans and their families should ask, not “Do I qualify”, but instead, “How do I qualify”.
With the right question asked, a veteran and their family can then begin finding answers to these questions, which gets me back to an earlier statement. That is, with the right estate planning, a veteran or their surviving spouse can qualify for this pension without spending everything that they have worked a lifetime to earn. That is why here at Cooper, Adel & Associates, we believe that veterans and their spouses deserve to receive the benefits that they are entitled to by law while maintaing their dignity. Because we believe in helping veterans and their families, we encourage you to contact our office to learn more about this valuable pension and helpful estate planning tools.
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