In this final installment, we will focus on additional VA benefits planning strategies. One effective strategy is commonly referred to as "spend down", which simply means to use otherwise countable liquid assets to purchase needed items such as vehicles, medical equipment, etc. The treatment of tax-deferred accounts poses special problems. While the annuitization approach may work in certain circumstances, in others, it may be better to liquidate the account and include it in a spend down … [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, despite the recent restrictions imposed by the VA on eligibility standards, there are effective and legal strategies that can be employed to reduce one's net worth for VA eligibility purposes. One note of caution: There … [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. Effective October 18, 2018, the VA made dramatic changes to the financial eligibility standards. Due to their complexity, they cannot be set forth in … [Read more...] about Veterans Benefits: A Primer – Part 5 of 7
The increase in the senior population in recent years has caused a corresponding increase in issues that impact the elderly, including nursing home abuse. Fortunately, there are nursing homes that provide competent, caring, and compassionate care to patients; however, you must remain vigilant and on alert for signs of abuse or neglect if you have a loved one in a nursing home. To help ensure that you know what to look for, lets discuss the signs of elder abuse and what to do if you spot … [Read more...] about How to Recognize the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
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 … [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 … [Read more...] about Veterans Benefits: A Primer – Part 1 of 7
The type and level of assistance a senior may need can vary greatly. Some seniors only need help around the house a few times a week while others require around the clock medical care and monitoring. For seniors who need more extensive care, the options are an assisted living facility or nursing home care. Not only is assisted living a more attractive option, it is usually the more economical option as well. If you are relying on Medi-Cal to cover the cost of care though, will it pay for … [Read more...] about Will California Medi-Cal Cover the Cost of an Assisted Living Facility?
As a retiree, you are likely hoping to enjoy your “Golden Years” without having to worry about finances. If you are concerned that may not be the case, one potential source of financial assistance that you may not have considered is your life insurance policy. Let's explore how a “senior Life settlement” from your life insurance policy works. What Is a Senior Life Settlement? You have likely been paying the premiums on your life insurance policy for years – maybe even decades – with the … [Read more...] about What Is a Senior Life Settlement?