The VA Aid and Attendance pension is a little-known benefit that can mean the difference for many seniors in paying for long term care privately versus applying for Medicaid. Remaining in a private pay status leaves options open for all assisted living communities, keeping the veteran and their family in the driver’s seat. Our first consideration is exploring this option for veterans or their surviving spouse.
Qualifying for the pension requires active duty service of one day during an eligible period of war and 90 days consecutively. The applicant did not have to see combat duty and the surviving spouse did not have to be married to the veteran at the time of service. The applicant must be 65 years of age or older, legally blind, or mentally incompetent. They must require the aid and attendance of another individual on a continuous basis with at least one activity of daily living (ADL) (depending on care provider, a second ADL may be needed). Acceptable ADLs are: bathing, dressing, walking, toileting, transferring, or eating.
Long term care planning involves more than just looking at a current need and qualification for Aid and Attendance. It is vitally important for any good plan to take into account future rising care costs as well as depletion of assets to the poverty level. Actions taken to qualify an applicant for Aid and Attendance without consideration to proper asset divestment for Medicaid purposes can be a costly mistake. It is also important, for those working toward a secure long term care plan for seniors, that they have a good understanding of financial investments. Not all advisors are created equal.
In an age where we find our loved ones living well into their 90s, proper planning for the second half of retirement is vital. There was a time when prior planning simply meant securing funds for travel and enjoyment. But with a longer life span, planning for medical care needs to be a priority in many cases! We encourage you to call and schedule an initial consultation today!
Contact: Sandy Messer
VA Accredited Claims Agent
Long Term Assurance, LLC CEO