Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that one in eight older adults is predicted to develop. It is a degenerative disease, which means that the symptoms become worse with time. Contrary to popular belief, not all elderly adults develop the disease. According to medical studies, patients can live up to 20 years after symptoms develop, and the average patient lives up to eight years after developing symptoms. There is currently no cure for the disease, but there are several types of … [Read more...] about Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease
In this final installment, we will focus on additional VA benefits planning strategies. One effective strategy is commonly referred to as "spend down", whice simply means to use otherwise countable liquid assets to purchase needed items such as vehicles, medical equipment,, etc. The VA allows for the reduction in countable financial accounts simply by adding another person on the account. Joint ownership has its perils, however, and it is not effective for Medi-Cal purposes. One should … [Read more...] about Veterans Benefits: A Primer – Part 7 of 7
As noted in the previous Part, many person who initially contact our office relating to VA benefit eligibility do not immediately qualify for them. In most cases it is because they have too many assets that the VA would count in ascertaining their availability. However, there are numerous effective and legal strategies that can be employed to reduce one's net worth for VA eligibility purposes. One note of caution: There are far too many persons and entities that purport to provide assistance … [Read more...] about Veterans Benefit: A Primer – Part 6 of 7
Turning to the financial test in VA eligibility planning, there is much confusion in this area. Unlike the VA Compensation program, whose eligibility tests focus on a veteran's degree of disability and whether or not it was connected to his or her service to our country, the Pension program also focuses on the veteran's income and assets. When one applies for the pension benefit, the VA screener's job is to determine whether or not the veteran or surviving spouse has sufficient assets and … [Read more...] about Veterans Benefits: A Primer – Part 5 of 7
In this Part, we will explore the disability test. As previously discussed, if a veteran became disabled while serving the country during his or her military service, he or she will likely be eligible for a disability benefit under the VA's Compensation program, which, unlike the Pension program, is not means tested. To receive a VA pension benefit. however, the veteran must establish his disability in one of two ways. First, a veteran can show that a permanent and totally disabling … [Read more...] about Veterans Benefits: A Primer – Part 4 of 7
To be eligible for the VA "Pension", a veteran applicant must satisfy three basic tests: 1. Wartime Service; 2. A Disability; and 3. Limited Assets and Income. We will explore each of these requirements in the next few Parts. A surviving spouse of a veteran must also meet a fourth test, the "Marriage" test. He or she must have been married to a veteran of the opposite gender at the time of the veteran's death, been married for more than one year and have not remarried. Unfortunately, this … [Read more...] about Veterans Benefits: A Primer – Part 3 of 7
In Part 2 of this Primer series, we will take a closer look at the VA "Pension" benefit available to certain wartime benefits. The "Pension" benefit is commonly and mistakenly referred to as the "Aid and Attendance" (A & A) benefit. As discussed below, the A & A benefit is but one of three "Pension" benefits. The "Pension" benefit is actually three separate but related benefits. The fundamental benefit is the "Improved Pension". There is an additional benefit for those who meet the … [Read more...] about Veterans Benefits: A Primer – Part 2 of 7
Our firm regularly assists clients with obtaining benefits available from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for assistance in paying for long term care benefits. The VA requires that attorneys be accredited by the VA in order to represent veterans before the VA relative to their benefits. This author is so accredited. In helping our veteran clients and their surviving spouses, we have learned that there is much confusion about VA benefits and their availability. In this Primer series, … [Read more...] about Veterans Benefits: A Primer – Part 1 of 7
An attorney will NOT chargea fee to apply for veterans benefits. The Veterans Administration prohibits charging a fee to apply for benefits. However, this doesn't mean that you’re left on your own, surrounded by masses of unintelligible paperwork. That’s too scary for anyone, who is not specially trained! An attorney can fill out the application, as a courtesy, when he or she is designing a plan to help qualify for veterans benefits and possibly future Medi-Cal Long Term Care benefits. Are … [Read more...] about Can an Attorney Charge to Help Fill Out A Veterans Benefit Application?
Are you one of the thousands of people who are eligible for additional Veterans benefits and don’t know it? If you are a wartime veteran (or spouse or surviving spouse of a wartime veteran) you may be eligible for Veteran Aid and Attendance benefits, to pay for long term care. These benefits include monthly payments for home-care, nursing home care, or care in an assisted living facility. You Must Medically and Financially Qualify for Aid and Attendance Benefits. If you qualify, Aid and … [Read more...] about Are You Missing Out on Veterans Benefits to Pay for Long Term Care?