By way of one of our valued Circle of Support partners, Jackie Bedard owner of Carolina Family Estate Planning, we wanted to pass on some important information for those veterans or spouses of veterans that could be eligible for Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits.
Summary of new Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits rule change:
On September 18, the Veterans Administration (VA) published new rules that make it more difficult to qualify for this important benefit, including the addition of a 3-year look back period.
For example, any gifts that you made in the past 36 months, either to a family member or to an irrevocable trust, would be penalized. Likewise, an investment in an annuity would also be penalized. This means you could be prohibited from qualifying for VA pension benefits for up to 5 years, depending on the amount of the gift.
There are other requirements to the new rules, but the above are the most impactful to your case if you still wish to pursue these benefits, which would provide a cash benefit to help defray your cost of care.
You can still get under the old rules where there is no penalty for making gifts or transferring funds to a VA Asset Protection Trust BUT YOU MUST ACT QUICKLY! The new rules go into effect on October 18, 2018, and you must have ALL planning done and ALL transfers completed by October 17, 2018.
This benefit may be applicable if you are:
- Either a veteran of World War II, Korean War, or Vietnam War, or the surviving spouse of a veteran that served during World War II, Korean War, or Vietnam War and,
- Are over the age of 65 years of age (or will turn 65 before 10/18/2021); and
- If you (or your spouse) needs long-term care or ongoing care-giving assistance or may need long-term care or care-giving assistance within the next 5 years.
If you meet the criteria above, we recommend you reach out to an accredited VA attorney like Carolina Family Estate Planning or one of our Estate Planning VA circle of support partners. To review a list of accredited attorneys listed by the Veterans Administration, click here. If you’re eligible, Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits today!
We recommend you do this AS SOON AS POSSIBLE since the new 3-yr. look back goes into effect October 17, 2018.