Who is eligible for the benefit?
War time veterans with at least 1 day of active duty during specified dates set by Congress and the spouses of those war time veterans even if widowed.
I served active duty between the dates but I never left the United States; am I still eligible?
I am healthy but my spouse is not, can I still qualify?
Yes if you can meet the other criteria.
I meet all the criteria but I think I have too much in assets, can I still qualify?
We help families all the time who have too much in assets. We can show you several options you have to get below the asset limit. For this benefit there is no look back period like there is for Medicaid qualification.
I meet all the criteria but my income is too high, can I still qualify?It depends on what your “net” income is not your gross household income. We have helped families with more than $7,000 a month in income get this benefit.
What does the VA mean by “net” income?
The VA starts with the gross household income then subtracts medical insurance premiums and qualified out of pocket care costs and medical costs to determine an income for VA purposes (IVAP).
Can I go to a veteran’s service officer at the courthouse or the VFW to fill out my application?
Yes you can but a VSO cannot tell you how to qualify if you have too much income or too much in assets.
Is there a fee for preparing the VA application and the supporting documentation?
No, we prepare these applications pro bono though there may be a fee.
Must I already be living in an assisted living community before I apply?
No, it is not necessary to be living in assisted living in order to apply for VA benefits; however, if you are in need of personal assistance, the entire cost of assisted living helps to qualify you for benefits, but you must be a current resident to submit these expenses as a deduction of income.
Who can help me fill out the forms?
Any private individual may assist with completing the forms;
however, this individual is allowed to assist ONLY one person. A
VA accredited agent, such as your local state Veteran’s office, VFW,
or American Legion may help you, as well as an accredited attorney.
NO-ONE may charge you for helping you prepare or present the
VA application forms.
Can a paralegal help me?
Only if the paralegal is working with a State Bar approved and VA
Does my home count as an asset?
No, your primary home is exempt from counting as an asset towards VA benefits. In addition, jointly owned assets may be split, under certain circumstances, with only a portion counting as an asset. However, it is important to never transfer ANY assets without consulting with an elder law attorney who is knowledgeable of the Medicaid system in your state.
How long does it take for me to get my first check?
Once an application is turned in to the VA, it can take anywhere from 5 to 8 months on average to get your check if you are approved for benefits. If you have dementia or other memory loss issues, the VA will insist on meeting you and a family member before sending you a check so your claim may take on average 6 to 12 months to settle but the first check will be backdated to when you applied.
Does the money come to me or straight to the assisted living facility?
All benefits are paid directly to the claimant and not to any facility or company.
Can I have it wired directly into my bank account?
Yes, the VA actually prefers to have all checks directly deposited into a bank account. If you have memory loss issues, the VA will insist on a direct deposit.