Veterans and their families are entitled to an array of benefits, but most don't know how to access them. How do Life Care Planning Law Firms help older veterans and their families get what's rightfully theirs?
Did you know that if an elderly loved one was a veteran or was married to a veteran, he or she may be eligible for VA Pension benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs?
“Improved Pension,” a type of disability income, is one of the VA’s best kept secrets. More than 3 million U.S. veterans and their surviving spouses are eligible for this benefit, yet many don’t know that it even exists. The purpose of Improved Pension is to provide supplemental income to disabled or older veterans with low income. Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. VA Pension, with an Aid & Attendance allowance, can be as much as $2,169 per month for a veteran with one dependent (i.e., spouse), $1,830 per month for a single veteran, $1,176 per month for a surviving spouse, and $1,436 per month for a veteran with an ill spouse. These cash benefits are tax-free.
When elders and their family caregivers decide to work with a Life Care Planning Law Firm, most don’t realize that VA benefits may be available to pay for care,” said Anne Elizabeth McGowin, attorney and founder of Senior Law Solutions, LLC, a Life Care Planning Law Firm in Montgomery, AL. “The VA certainly doesn’t make things easy. Their website isn’t clear about how you get the Aid & Attendance attached to compensation through a special monthly benefit.”
To qualify, the veteran must have at least 90 days of active duty service, only one day of which must have been during a recognized wartime: World War II, Korean War, Vietnam, or Persian Gulf. There is no requirement that the veteran actually fought in a war, served within a battle theater, or even left the United States. Active duty service can be entirely “stateside.” The veteran must have received a military discharge other than dishonorable. The veteran must either be at least 65 years of age (there is no age requirement for a surviving spouse) or 100% disabled. Finally, the veteran or surviving spouse must satisfy financial requirements regarding net worth and gross income. With recent changes to the VA pension benefits it’s more important than ever to consult an attorney.
Life Care Planning Law Firms are known for their skill and tenacity in pursuing VA benefit claims. “Many families give up when they see how hard it is to get VA benefits,” noted Anne Elizabeth, who leads a team of legal and non-legal professionals who work together to support clients and caregivers. “We are persistent. We know where to look for the answers. We get results.”
For Life Care Planning Law Firms, VA benefits are just one factor in the equation for an older adult’s well-being. “We look at more than just the legal problems,” added Anne Elizabeth, whose personal experience caring for elderly parents gives her deep empathy for her clients. “As a caregiver, I saw the limitations of traditional elder law and its focus on asset protection. It was hard to find professionals who could help me manage the legal and financial implications of the care my parents needed.”
Today, Anne Elizabeth is passionate about being able to provide clients—veterans and non-veterans alike—with a holistic solution. “You can find everything under one roof,” she said. “That’s always a relief for family caregivers, especially when it comes to getting elderly veterans the benefits they deserve.”