Veterans Needing Care Need to Act Quickly – The Law’s About the Change

The Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefit, offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, is a vital program for those veterans (and their spouses) who are in need of medically related assistance with activities of daily living. Changes that are forthcoming, including a “look-back period,” may make benefits more difficult to secure in the future.

In 2012, a Senate bill was introduced that imposed a three-year “look-back” period for uncompensated transfers prior to the filing of the VA pension application. The bill did not get traction, and was replaced in 2013 by H.R. 2189, a new House bill that contains similar provisions. H.R. 2189 passed the House on Oct. 28, 2013 (404 to 1) and was referred to the Senate for review. Presently, experts are saying that the bill has a fair chance of passing the Senate and could very well be signed into a law by President Obama this year. If this is the case, it will drastically affect veterans and their family members who use the Aid and Attendance benefit in the following ways:

  • A commission will be appointed to address the issue of claims backlog.
  • The legislation will mandate that all claims will be approved or denied with 125 days of application.
  • The VA pension program will soon review financial transactions of an applicant much like the federal/state Medicaid long-term care services program.
  • You can anticipate the VA looking to the rules used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which currently imposes a five-year look-back period for asset transfers prior to application for long-term care benefits.

Those wishing to take advantage of the present law may want to investigate their options quickly. Evan H. Farr is an Accredited Attorney with the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs who understands the Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit and the Medicaid program and the interaction between both benefit programs. Mr. Farr works with clients to obtain the financial assistance to which they are entitled and enables veterans and their spouses afford the type of long-term care that they need, whether home care, adult day care, assisted living care, or nursing home care.

If you are a Veteran or spouse of a Veteran who served 90 days active duty, and at least one day during a period of wartime, and you need physical assistance with your activities of daily living, be sure to make an appointment ASAP for a no-cost consultation at the Fairfax and Fredericksburg Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C.  We can work with you to evaluate if you qualify for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit and/or Medicaid (or if we can get you qualified) and we will handle the filing of all the tedious and technical paperwork. Call us at our Fairfax Virginia Elder Law office at 703-691-1888 or at our Fredericksburg Virginia Elder Law office at 540-479-1435 to make an appointment today!

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