Every day, veterans risk their lives and dedicate themselves to our country. In return, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) makes available a wide range of special programs, financial benefits, and services to military veterans, their dependents, and survivors.
Many seniors and their family members are unaware of the generous financial benefits available to U.S. military veterans in the form of Veterans Administration (VA) low-income pension benefits (aka “pension benefits”). For those who are aware, most have not done the proper planning to ensure federal benefits are received down the road.
VA Benefit Eligibility
In the form of VA low-income pension benefits, veterans with non-service-connected disabilities are eligible. Pension benefits are available to veterans who are aged 65 or older, meet the service requirements, or who have other non-service-connected disabilities, and are financially eligible. Additionally, pension benefits are available to widows and widowers of veterans. For purposes of pension benefit eligibility, the VA rules consider those veterans who are aged 65 and older automatically disabled.
With proper planning by an elder law attorney such as Paula Smith, veterans and their families, or widows and widowers of veterans could receive considerable assistance from the VA.
These benefits include:
- Health Care
- Preventative Services
- Nursing Home
- Long-Term Care
The amount of the basic pension benefit can increase for veterans who are either housebound or need aid and attendance for certain activities of daily livings. While the majority of veterans have non-service connected disabilities, those who have service-connected disabilities may be eligible for benefits commonly referred to as compensation benefits.
Accredited by the Veterans Administration
Worcester Elder Law attorney Paula Smith is an AVAPP-certified attorney who provides insightful guidance on the benefits available to elderly Massachusetts veterans and families in need of health care assistance. A member of the Academy of VA Pension Planners, Paula has:
- Completed specialized training in VA Improved Pension Planning
- Demonstrated extensive knowledge in Trusts, Wills, and Medicaid
- Passed the AVAPP exam, and
- Met the strict requirements as outlined by the Academy of VA Pension Planners.
VA Pension Benefit Planning
For the Massachusetts veteran or widow(er) of a veteran, incorporating VA benefits into traditional elder law or estate planning is essential. VA benefits can make a big difference in the ability to afford basic living expenses, in-home care, or pay for an assisted living facility. Similar to Medicaid eligibility but with different provisions, VA pension benefit eligibility planning can be tricky—if improperly filed, future Medicaid eligibility can be reduced or eliminated.
The Importance of Hiring an Attorney
While there are veteran service organizations available to provide free assistance in filing for veterans’ benefits, they are not trained in the nuances of Medicaid eligibility, nor are they qualified to assist with eligibility planning or counseling. As a result, they might unknowingly offer conflicting guidance that could negatively impact your future Medicaid eligibility. This is why it’s crucial to secure the assistance of a qualified elder law attorney, one who has been accredited by the Veterans Administration.
With careful analysis and consideration of your future Medicaid eligibility, elder law attorney Paula Smith will diligently examine all aspects of your health care requirements and find the most appropriate VA benefits for you, your spouse, or your elderly loved ones, including:
- Long-term Care
- Geriatric Evaluations
- Adult Day Health Care
- Respite Care
- Home Care
- Hospice/Palliative Care