You should certainly be aware of the impact of long-term care costs when you are creating a retirement budget. It is natural to assume that your health care basics will be covered by Medicare, but in fact, this program does not pay for long-term care.
Since living assistance is very expensive, this lack of coverage presents a significant challenge. There are steps that you can take to respond, and you would do well to discuss your options with an elder law attorney so that you can be properly prepared.
Often Overlooked Veterans Benefit
If you are a veteran who is concerned about potential long-term care costs, you should be aware of a benefit that may be available to you that is often overlooked. Most of us are aware of the fact that there is a military retirement pension that veterans earn after 20 years of service.
However, there is another type of pension called the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension. This benefit exists to help qualified veterans who need living assistance. If you qualify, you can receive a monthly payout that you can use to defray your long-term care costs.
You do not have to serve for at least 20 years to become eligible for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension. In fact, the length of service requirement is surprisingly modest. If you have served at least 90 days with at least one of these days taking place during a time of war, you meet the requirement with regard to length of service.
Beyond the length of service, there are a couple of additional eligibility requirements. You have to be able to provide medical proof that you do in fact need help with your activities of daily living. Plus, this program is intended for veterans with financial need. As a result, there are income and asset parameters, but decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
We should point out the fact that your home and your vehicle do not count, and your household goods and personal effects would not be counted. When it comes to personal assets that are countable, the general rule of thumb with regard to a limit is $80,000, but as we have stated, each case is treated individually.
A single veteran who is eligible can receive up to $1,788 a month, and this can certainly help if you need living assistance as a senior citizen.
Obtain Legal Counsel
If you would like to discuss nursing home asset protection strategies with a licensed professional, our firm can help. We offer free consultations, and we have a comprehensive understanding of programs that are in place to help senior veterans.
To set up an appointment, send us a message through our contact page: Indianapolis IN Elder Law Attorneys.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.