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Who qualifies for the Disability Benefit in Nassau County?

The VA refers to the disability benefit as “compensation”.   Disability compensation is for those veterans with a service-related disability or illness.  There are no limitations on the amount of income or assets you are allowed to keep.

What is Veteran Aid and Attendance?

There is another type of monthly benefit available which is referred to as a “pension”.  The pension is generally not related to a service-connected injury or illness.

Aid and Attendance is the most common type of pension benefit offered through the VA.  A pension benefit may be able on a monthly basis to help pay for the care of the veteran.  It is typically helpful for those in need of assistance with dressing, toileting, and ambulating.

However, there are strict income and asset limitations that apply to Veteran and his or her spouse. Monthly household income can be offset by unreimbursed medical expenses.

Home Care Benefits can be approved as aid and attendance even when provided by a family member and can also be provided to spouse of veteran.

This benefit is also income tax free and can help offset the cost of home care and can even make assisted living more affordable.

Which Veteran’s may qualify?

Pension benefits available to veterans of:

Mexican Border War – May 9, 1916 – April 5, 1917

World War I – April 6, 1917 – April 1, 1918*

World War II – December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946

Korean War – June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955

Vietnam War – August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975**

Persian Gulf War – August 2, 1990 – to be determined

*If the veteran served with the United States military forces in Russia, the ending date is April 1, 1920

**The period is February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975, if the veteran served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period.

You did not have to be in a war zone. The time of your service is what counts and must have been other than dishonorably discharged.

Are there Benefits available for Surviving Spouse of Veteran?

Yes. The surviving spouse must be over 65 or totally disabled and must meet the financial requirements for the pension benefit.

VA Planning for Pension Eligibility

Pension benefits have asset and income limits. Planning for eligibility is essential for New York veterans. There are planning strategies that will help qualify a veteran (or surviving spouse) for benefits.  This planning must be accomplished prior to applying for a pension benefit.

Understanding Veteran Aid & Attendance

Long-term care, whether at home, in a nursing home, or an assisted living facility can be very costly. Many Veterans and their families are unaware of benefits they are entitled to through the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”).

Aid and Attendance is probably the most common type of pension benefit offered through the VA. It may be available to the Veteran or to the surviving spouse of a Veteran in New York.

Veteran Eligibility

In order to be eligible to receive an Aid and Attendance pension, the veteran must meet the following requirements:

  • Annual family net income is below the yearly limit set by law. Annual net income limits.
  • Cannot have excessive “net worth”. Although no limit has been established on how much net worth (assets minus debts) a veteran and his/her dependents may have, generally net worth must be less than $138,489. It is important to note that assets do not include one’s primary residence and a car.
  • Must be disabled. For VA pension purposes, disability refers to a person that requires assistance with the activities of daily living (bathing, feeding, dressing, etc.). The disability is not related to the veteran’s military service and cannot be due to willful misconduct.
  • A physician must also document the need for the veteran to receive caregiver services. Typically, a veteran will receive care in an assisted living facility or non-medical home care services.
  • The veteran must have had at least 90 days of active military service, at least one day of which was served during official wartime. To have served during wartime, the veteran did not need to see combat or even leave the country.
  • The veteran’s discharge must be other than dishonorable.

Veterans Application Process

The application process for Aid and Attendance benefits is an extensive process and often times many applicants have questions while filling it out. For this reason, although not mandatory, many seek assistance. Also, many seek assistance because if denied, there is a year waiting period before you may reapply.

Benefits of Aid and Attendance

Through Aid and Attendance, a single Veteran could be eligible to receive up to $2,051 per month, a married Veteran up to $2,431 per month, and a surviving spouse of a Veteran could receive up to $1,318.

Russo Law Group, P.C. helps you and your loved ones handle Estate Planning, Elder Law, Special Needs Planning, Medicaid Planning, Trust & Estate, Guardianship, Small Business Planning, and Real Estate Law. We welcome you to contact our Garden City, Lido Beach, Islandia, or Manhattan, New York law offices to learn more about how we can help address your veteran planning needs.

If you have questions or concerns about Veteran Benefits issues, please don’t hesitate to contact the Veteran Benefits Attorneys with Russo Law Group, P.C.

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