With the baby boomer generation in the heart of retirement age, private resources to support older Americans have begun to feel the strain. Among these is the Veteran’s Administration (VA), which faces impending regulations that will make nursing care benefits available to even fewer veterans.
The administration currently offers a pension called Aid and Attendance (A&A), an underused resource that supplies those who have served and are current nursing home residents or require geriatric home care assistance. For the first time, new regulations will limit the services ONLY to those whose asset levels qualify and will impose a look-back period, restrictions on gift or transfers of assets that will subjugate violators to penalties.
The current income and assets of a veteran and their spouse currently determines eligibility for these benefits. The proposed regulations will set the amount at a limit of $119,220, with only homeowner properties of two-acres or less will be excluded from this evaluation. While this was the previous limit set for veteran’s spouses, the limit will now extend to both beneficiaries. Similar to Social Security benefits, these VA benefits will be indexed based on inflation.
An applicant who transfers assets to a non-beneficiary within three years of applying for A&A will face a penalty period of up to 10 years, double for spouses, unless clear and convincing evidence can be proven that the transfer was not in the interest of qualifying for the program’s benefits.
An alternative to A&A is Medicaid, a state and federally funded health insurance program that pays for the medical care of people who have low income and resource levels, or for the elderly. Although we caution applicants that there are still strict rules regarding transfers of assets and limits of income, Medicaid regulations are much less stringent than the A&A rules.
P & P Medicaid is available to assist retirement-age veterans and their families apply for Medicaid, Aid and Attendance and other programs or services. P & P Medicaid handles everything in the application and document-acquiring processes and will appear on behalf of the applicant at a governmental agency. The company can also provide guidance in selecting home healthcare or nursing home placement options, along with assistance in applying to the long-term care facilities.
For more information on how to begin the Medicaid application process, call (516) 541-4770 or visit www.ppmedicaid.com.