The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced a policy change that will soon affect all older veterans and their spouses! Please read on…
On October 18, 2018, the VA is instituting rule changes that will make it more difficult for vets to qualify for existing benefits and protect their assets.
Vets and their spouses who are 65 or older, served during a period of war, have trouble performing tasks of daily living (bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.), and meet certain financial requirements are eligible to receive up to $26,036 annually in non-service connected benefits through the VA to help pay for long-term care, including home health care and nursing home care.
To qualify, most veterans and their spouses will need to work together with their estate planning attorney to create and implement a plan. Proper planning allows the veteran to meet the VA's income and asset thresholds, without actually forfeiting their assets or being forced to spend down their savings before they could be eligible for benefits.
Currently, this type of planning can be done right up to the day the application is submitted…with the VA's blessing… because they do not have a formal “look-back period” for asset transfers on the books. But…
Starting on October 18, 2018, the Veteran's Administration will begin imposing a three (3) year look-back period on all asset transfers. Each transfer or gift will cause a penalty periodthat could last up to five years before you are able to access your benefits. Other significant changes to the rules are also going into effect.
If you don't have time to wait for benefits or your family could utilize up to $26,036 tax-free to help pay for your care today or in the future, the time to act is NOW.
Here is what you must do immediately:
- If you've already done your homework on collecting Aid & Attendance benefits but you've yet to move forward with your planning, it's time to take the final step. Call us and we'll get you into the office ASAP. You must get your planning done before October 18thto take advantage of opportunities while they still exist before the new rules go into effect.
- If you are an older wartime veteran or spouse and this is the first time you are hearing about Aid and Attendance benefits, please hit REPLY to this email or call the office at 707-670-1000 RIGHT AWAY. We are clearing out spaces on our calendar so we can bring in vets and their spouses to learn about this benefit, crunch the numbers to determine how you can qualify, and create a plan to help you get your application in before the October 18th
- If you think you might need care in the future, the time to plan is still RIGHT NOW. You can work to appropriately arrange your finances today so that when you apply for benefits down the road, you can qualify without a penalty.
If you are a wartime vet or spouse (or you care about someone who is), there's no time to delay. We invite you to come into the office to get your questions answered, and we'll work diligently to complete any planning that you may need before the October 18th deadline.
Again, just call the office at 707-670-1000 to schedule your appointment.
P.S. I don't usually say this—but, please FORWARD this post to every veteran who you know and care about. Helping a Vet access the Aid & Attendance benefits they are rightfully entitled to for serving during a period of war can mean the difference between aging with dignity or becoming impoverished by the costs of long-term care. This is information that every older vet should know about!