The Elrod Firm

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Is there a Veterans Benefit to help pay for Assisted Living?

Justin, my father is about to be released from the hospital and will be going to inpatient rehab later this week. Because of his dementia I feel like he will need assisted living when his rehab is over. He is a veteran, and I read that he may be entitled to some sort of financial benefit to help. Is this true? – Barbara

Barbara, you are correct, there is a benefit available to many veterans that is particularly helpful in paying for assisted living. The benefit is commonly referred to as Aid and Attendance, and it pays around $1,750 per month to qualifying veterans.

The VA considers three separate criteria in determining who qualifies for assistance. First, the VA looks at Veteran Status. You must prove that your father served on active duty during a period of war, with at least 90 days of service. Second, the VA considers your father’s Health Status. In a nutshell, he must show that he medically needs assisted living. This will be established through an affidavit signed by his own personal physician and a letter from the assisted living facility you select.

The third criteria can be the most complicated. The VA will also consider your father’s Financial Status. The VA conducts an income test and an asset test. To pass the income test, your father must simply show that his assisted living charges and his monthly health insurance premiums exceed his monthly income. To pass the asset test, your father must have no more than $40,000 in countable assets. However, if he exceeds the asset limit, planning strategies are available to help him qualify.

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