Florida Veterans Benefits Lawyers

Serving Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Broward, Okeechobee, Martin Counties and the Surrounding Areas


Our Florida Veterans benefits lawyers advise disabled and elderly veterans and their surviving spouses about qualifying for benefits for long-term care.

What is Pension with Aid and Attendance?

Improved Pension with Aid and Attendance is a little-known Veterans benefit and, contrary to popular belief, this benefit is not service-connected. This benefit is available to eligible Veterans and their widows/widowers to help pay for at-home care, nursing home care, or assisted living care.

All the attorneys of The Karp Law Firm are V.A.-accredited and can advise you about eligibility requirements, as well as help you coordinate with your estate plan and other benefits to which you may be entitled in the future, for example, Florida Medicaid benefits for long-term care.

Download our guide to Veterans Benefits Aid and Attendance (updated Jan. 2020)

What are the Criteria for Obtaining VA Pension with Aid & Attendance Benefits for Veterans?

Staff Sergeant Irving Ziffer

In order to qualify for VA Pension with Aid & Attendance Benefits a Veteran must:

  • Have been discharged from service under conditions other than dishonorable.
  • Served at least 90 days of active military service, 1 day of which was during a wartime period (see Wartime Periods below).
  • Have countable family income below the yearly limit set by law. However, unreimbursed medical expenses – which may include the cost of a nursing home or assisted living facility or in-home assistance, as well as other medical expenses – are deducted when calculating income.
  • Be age 65 or older, OR, permanently and totally disabled, not due to wilful misconduct

What are the Criteria for Obtaining VA Pension with Aid & Attendance Benefits for Spouses and Dependents?

In order for a spouse or dependent to obtain these benefits, the following must be true with respect to the person seeking the benefits:

  • Surviving spouse must not have remarried.
  • Children must be under age 18, or under age 23 if attending VA-approved school or have become permanently incapable of self-support because of disability before age 18 (unless the child marries or income exceeds applicable limit).   

WARTIME PERIODS 

  • World War II:  Dec. 7, 1941 – Dec. 31, 1946. Extended to July 25, 1947 if the Veteran was in service on December 31, 1946.  Continuous service before July 26, 1947 is considered World War II service.
  •  Korean conflict: June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955
  • Vietnam era: August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975 and from February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 in the case of a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period.
  • Persian Gulf: August 2, 1990 – yet to be determined.
  • National Guard: does NOT count as Military Service unless under Title 10.

Benefits are retroactive to the first of the month the claim for benefits has been filed. There is a new federal policy where they may be able to go back 12 months for nursing home applications.

NET WORTH LIMIT, LOOK-BACK PERIOD FOR ASSET TRANSFERS, PENALTY PERIOD 

  • Net Worth Limit: The net worth of the Veteran and spouse, or the surviving spouse, may not exceed $127,061 (effective Dec. 1. 2018). Net worth is defined as non-exempt assets, plus net income. Certain unreimbursed medical expenses – for example, the cost of a nursing home, at-home care, or an assisted living facility – may be deducted from income.
  • Look-Back Period and Penalty Period: Effective October 18, 2018, there is a 36 month look-back period preceding the date of application. Any asset transfers made during this period that reduced the applicant’s income below $127,601 will be totalled to determine a penalty period during which the Veteran or surviving spouse will not be eligible for benefits. The penalty period begins to run on the date of the last transfer made, not on the date of application. The penalty period may not exceed five years.
  • These assets are exempt:

Any asset transferred prior to October 18, 2018.
The primary residence, and a lot up to two acres.
Prepaid funeral and burial plot
Family transportation vehicles
Certain special rules may apply to annuities, trusts, and IRAs.

VETERANS MONTHLY PENSION RATES (EFFECTIVE DEC. 1, 2019) 

VETERANS FAMILY SITUATION MAXIMUM MONTHLY PENSION MAXIMUM PENSION WITH AID AND ATTENDANCE
Veteran $1,146 $1,911
…with 1 dependent $1,500 $2,266
Widow of Veteran $768 $1,228
…with 1 dependent $1,006 $1,465
Veteran Permanently Housebound $1,400 n/a
…with 1 dependent $1,755 n/a
Widow Permanently Housebound $939 n/a
…with 1 dependent $1,176 n/a

 

Coordinating V.A. Benefits Planning With Medicaid Planning

Many veterans who apply for Aid and Attendance benefits will likely want to apply for Medicaid benefits for long-term care. The eligibility rules for these two programs are different, and steps taken to become eligible for one program may adversely affect eligibility for the other. Consult our V.A. Accredited lawyers on how to plan so you can secure the maximum benefits to which you are entitled.

Learn more about our Long-Term Care, Medicaid Benefits, and Veteran Benefits Law Practice:

 


 

Client Review

Mr. Karp and staff have made the process painless. Their prompt, reassuring and knowledgeable responses have made a significant impact on my stress level! After researching his firm on the Internet and subsequently having an initial phone conversation, my gut feelings had been reinforced! I was in the right hands. The services and expertise his firm provided has allowed me to focus on the more important personal issues with my father. To plagiarize a phrase from Master Card…..”this has been priceless for me”. MOST IMPORTANT, it is reassuring when talking to someone, that you feel you are both on the “same page”!

5 Star Review – Howard