Estate Planning Tips for Veterans

How do I apply for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension?

Veterans risk their lives to protect and defend our nation.  In exchange for their service, all veterans should be cared for in their old age.  In furtherance of this goal, the Veterans Aid and Attendance (A&A) pension was created to provide benefits that will assist veterans and surviving spouses in paying for the care they need.  California veterans should contact a veterans planning attorney for assistance in applying for an A&A pension and exploring other potential benefits that may be available to you. 

What is the Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension?

The Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension provides benefits to veterans or a surviving spouse if they require assistance to care for themselves or are in need of long-term care.  Pension benefits can provide up to $1,794 per month to a veteran, $1,153 to a surviving spouse, or $2,127 per month for a couple.  Veterans with ill spouses can additionally collect up to $1,410 a month.  These funds can provide the vital financial means you need to subsidize home care costs. 

Who is Eligible for the A&A Pension?

To receive an A&A pension, you must be a wartime veteran with at least 90 days of active duty.  One day of your service must begin or end during a period of war.  If you are the surviving spouse of a wartime veteran, you may also apply.  The veteran or the surviving spouse must meet medical and financial qualifications.

Medical qualifications include evidence that the veteran or surviving spouse needs assistance in order to perform daily living tasks, such as eating, dressing, taking medication, and the like.  Veterans residing in nursing home care, those who are blind, and veterans with mental or physical incapacities may additionally qualify.  Your application must include a medical evaluation from a physician. 

Qualifying veterans must have less than $80,000 in assets, excluding your home and vehicles. Veterans that make over this amount may use estate planning tools to reduce your assets.  Applying for benefits can be complex and your veterans planning attorney will assist you in gathering the documents necessary and ensuring your eligibility, as well as reviewing other potential options for estate planning.  

Brian Chew, the managing partner of OC Wills & Trust Attorneys, has extensive experience in the areas of estate planning, asset protection planning, business succession planning, long-term care planning, and veterans’ benefits. By devoting his practice to estate planning matters, he has founded a firm that strives to provide exceptional service to their clients by working closely with individuals and their families to create comprehensive and customized estate plans. For the past twenty five years, Brian has served thousands of clients in the matters of estate planning, wills and trusts. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Brian Chew here.