At Martha C. Brown & Associates, LLC in St. Louis MO, our attorneys are knowledgeable and experienced in Veteran Benefits Planning and are ready to assist clients in obtaining VA benefits.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides wartime veterans and the surviving spouses of deceased wartime veterans a special monthly pension called Aid and Attendance. This pension may be available to wartime veterans and their surviving spouses who have in-home care or who live in assisted living facilities or nursing homes. To be eligible, the following requirements must be met:
- Veteran must have served at least 90 days of active military service, one day of which must be during a period of war (as defined by the VA); and
- Veteran must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable; and
- Veteran must be permanently and totally disabled or over 65 years of age;
- The permanent and total disability must not be due to willful misconduct of the veteran; and
- For surviving spouses, the surviving spouse must have been married to the veteran at the time of the veteran's death, must not have remarried and must have been married at least one month prior to the veteran's death or have a child by the veteran.
After these requirements are met, the claimant must next meet the "needs" requirement:
- The claimant must require the "aid and attendance" of another person to perform their activities of daily living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, toileting and protecting himself from the dangers of his daily environment, or
- The claimant is bedridden, or
- The claimant is a patient in a nursing home because of a physical or mental incapacity, or
- The claimant is blind or nearly blind in both eyes; and
- The claimant must have a limited income and net worth.
- The claimant's countable income must not exceed the maximum annual pension rate (MAPR).
- A claimant is rarely denied a pension claim where the net worth of the veteran and the spouse is less than $50,000.
- For a surviving spouse, the asset level is $30,000. Countable assets do not include a house, car, term life insurance or burial policies, to name a few. Assets may be adjusted for unreimbursed funeral expenses or final expenses from the veteran's final illness along with unreimbursed medical expenses, generally those prescribed by a physician
Aid and Attendance is awarded along with the service benefit or the housebound benefit. The application process can take as long as six to eight months. If the claimant qualifies, however, the pension award is effective from the first date of the month following the VA's receipt of the application. The laws governing VA benefits are complex, and filing a claim can be time consuming and confusing.
Contact an attorney at Martha C. Brown & Associates, LLC to schedule your Veterans Benefits Planning consultation.
Martha C. Brown & Associates, LLC assist clients with Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Franklin County and the surrounding areas including Arnold, Ballwin, Barnhart, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Black Jack, Bonne Terre, Brentwood, Bridgeton, Cedar Hill, Chesterfield, Clayton, Crestwood, Creve Coeur, Crystal City, Des Peres, DeSoto, Ellisville, Farmington, Fenton, Festus, Ferguson, Florissant, Fredericktown, Frontenac, Hazelwood, Herculaneum, High Ridge, Hillsboro, House Springs, Imperial, Kirkwood, Ladue, Lake St. Louis, Manchester, Maplewood, Maryland Heights, Mehlville, Normandy, O'Fallon, Olivette, Pacific, Pevely, Richmond Heights, St. Ann, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Peters, Ste. Genevieve, Sunset Hills, Town & Country, University City, Union, Valley Park, Washington, Webster Groves, Wentzville , Wildwood.
The information provided on this website is a public service and is not intended as legal advice. Such advice should be obtained from your personal attorney.