Non-Service Connected Disability Pension for Veterans: Making Assisted Living Affordable

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Would $1600 a month make a difference in whether you or a loved one gets the care and support they need as they become dependent on assistance from a caregiver?

Most people don’t know or understand all of the benefits that are available to the men and women who served their country during wartime. Woodland Ridge wants to provide a quick guide to who is eligible and how to get more information.

To qualify for the pension, you must be a U.S. Military veteran, or their surviving spouse, that served the country during a period of war. The individual need not have been injured in the line of service nor do they need to have actually fought in combat.

There are many special circumstances that allow the pension to be extended to those under age 65 and those with service-related disabilities. Those individuals should contact the V.A. to find out what is available to them including, but not limited to: medical care, assistance with medications, and financial support.

The program we are addressing is commonly known as the “Aid and Attendance Pension”.

Qualifications:

The pension is “needs-based”. The veteran must have attained the age of 65 (or totally and permanently disabled), have a documentable need for assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), have limited financial resources, and have served a minimum of 1 day of active duty during wartime with a minimum of 90 days of active service with an honorable discharge.

The program is complex and there are many exceptions that allow for greater or lesser than the typical full amount of the pension. Some special circumstances such as eligibility through certain civilian defense forces, calculations of net worth and exempt expenses, and the pitfalls of accepting the benefit are all complex issues that should be discussed with a qualified person.

Who is a Qualified Person?

There are only 3 types of persons who are legally authorized to provide a veteran with assistance in filing a claim for veteran’s benefits:

  1. A licensed attorney in your state
  2. A veterans service organization such as VFW, American Legion, or Amvets
  3. A state or county official Dept. of Veterans Affairs

There are a number of lawyers who advertise that they will assist with getting the pension for free. In reality, they are either themselves a salesperson or affiliated with a salesperson whose primary goal is to sell annuities or charge for manipulating assets in order to qualify for the pension.

Where some manipulation is qualified, possible, and ethical it is important to realize that financial moves made today can ultimately affect Medicare/Medicaid benefits. Only a qualified person can help to guide you in the complex issues associated with the program and work in your best interest until your claim is settled.

Please contact Woodland Ridge and we’ll be happy to provide you with local resources that are tried and proven over time to work in the best interests of our veterans.

This is by no means a comprehensive description of the complex VA Aid and Attendance Pension program and its benefits. Neither is it inclusive of many other special programs available through the Veterans Administration.