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Florida Veterans Benefits Lawyers in Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Martin Counties

veteran

Our Florida veterans benefits lawyers advise disabled and elderly veterans and their surviving spouses about qualifying for benefits for long-term care. Pension with Aid and Attendance is a little-known veterans benefit and contrary to popular belief, this benefit is not service-connected. This benefit is available to eligible veterans and their widows/widowers to help pay for at-home care, nursing home care, or assisted living care.

All the attorneys of The Karp Law Firm are V.A.-accredited and can advise you about eligibility requirements, as well as help you coordinate with your estate plan and other benefits to which you may be entitled in the future, for example, Florida Medicaid benefits for long-term care. 

 

Eligibility rules for Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits changed on October 18, 2018. Below is the updated information.

 

►Download our guide to Veterans Benefits Aid and Attendance (coming soon)

 

Listen to Attorney Karp's radio interview about the Oct. 18, 2018 change in eligibility rules:

 

V.A. Pension with Aid & Attendance Benefits: Basic Eligibility Criteria 

  • Veteran was discharged from service under conditions other than dishonorable.
  • Veteran served at least 90 days of active military service, 1 day of which was during a wartime period (see Wartime Periods below).
  • Veteran’s countable family income must be below a yearly limit set by law. However, unreimbursed medical expenses - which may include the cost of a nursing home or assisted living facility or in-home assistance, as well as other medical expenses - are deducted when calculating income.
  • Veteran is age 65 or older, OR, permanently and totally disabled, not due to willful misconduct

 

V.A. Pension with Aid & Attendance Benefits: Eligibility Criteria for Veterans Survivors and Dependents

  • Surviving spouse must not have remarried.
  • Children must be under age 18, or under age 23 if attending VA-approved school or have become permanently incapable of self-support because of disability before age 18 (unless the child marries or income exceeds applicable limit).  

 

 

Wartime Periods 

  • World War II:  Dec. 7, 1941 - Dec. 31, 1946. Extended to July 25, 1947 if the Veteran was in service on December 31, 1946.  Continuous service before July 26, 1947 is considered World War II service.

  •  Korean conflict: June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955

  • Vietnam era: August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975 and from February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 in the case of a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period.

  • Persian Gulf: August 2, 1990 - yet to be determined.

  • National Guard: does NOT count as Military Service unless under Title 10.

Benefits are retroactive to the first of the month the claim for benefits has been filed. There is a new federal policy where they may be able to go back 12 months for nursing home applications.

 

Net Worth Limit, Look-Back Period for Asset Transfers, Penalty Period 

  • Net Worth Limit: The net worth of the veteran and spouse, or the surviving spouse, may not exceed $127,061. Net worth is defined as non-exempt assets, plus net income. Certain unreimbursed medical expenses - for example, the cost of a nursing home, at-home care or an assisted living facility - may be deducted from income. 
  • Look-Back Period and Penalty Period: Effective October 18, 2018, there is a 36 month look-back period preceding the date of application. Any asset transfers made during this period that reduced the applicant's income below $127,601 will be totalled to determine a penalty period during which the veteran or surviving spouse will not be eligible for benefits. The penalty period begins to run on the date of the last transfer made, not on the date of application. The penalty period may not exceed five years.
  • These assets are exempt:

Any asset transferred prior to October 18, 2018. 

The primary residence, and a lot up to two acres.

Prepaid funeral and burial plot

Family transportation vehicles

  • Certain special rules may appky to annuities, trusts, and IRAs. 

 

Veterans Monthly Pension Rates (effective Dec. 1, 2018)

 

 

Veterans Family Situation

Maximum Monthly Pension

Maximum Pension with Aid and Attendance

Veteran

$1127

$1881

...with 1 dependent

$1477

$2230

Widow of Veteran

$756

$1209

...with 1 dependent

$990

$1442

Veteran Permanently Housebound

$1377

n/a

...with 1 dependent

$1727

n/a

Widow Permanently Housebound

$924

n/a

...with 1 dependent

$1157

n/a

 

 

Coordinating V.A. Benefits Planning with Medicaid Planning

Many veterans who apply for Aid and Attendance benefits will likely want to apply for Medicaid benefits for long-term care.The eligibility rules for these two programs are different, and steps taken to become eligible for one program may adversely affect eligibility for the other. Consult our V.A. Accredited lawyers on how to plan so you can secure the maximum benefits you are entitled to.

 

Uncle Irv

Staff Sergeant Irving Ziffer

July 3, 1918 - Nov. 21, 2008

A Message From Attorney Joseph Karp & Attorney Jonathan Karp....

For us, it's personal.

Many of our family members have served in the armed forces, but one relative stands out: our beloved uncle, Staff Sergeant Irving Ziffer. Uncle Irv was in the first wave of troops mobilized in the Pacific during World War II. After five years he emerged from the war with a raft of serious injuries, two Purple Hearts, the Presidential Unit Citation, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Campaign Medal with Bronze Star, and the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross and Star.

Uncle Irv was a dedicated family man. But his family extended beyond blood. A true patriot, he always considered the military to be his extended family. He was  proud of his service, proud of his country, an active participant in veterans organizations, and a lifelong friend to his army buddies. When he died in November  2008, he was buried with full military honors. That's the way he wanted it, and that's what he earned. 

Veterans deserve our gratitude and respect, especially in their Golden Years, regardless of where or in what capacity they have served. But beyond these intangibles, they deserve every penny that their service entitles them to. Too many veterans don't understand their benefits, and a stressed-to-the-limit Veterans Administration does not do a great job of advertising them.

Our law firm strives to serve our veterans just as they have served us. That's the way Uncle Irv would have wanted it. Our V.A.-accredited attorneys are ready to assist you secure the benefits you have earned.

For us, it's personal. It's also the law.