People that are in the United States military earn a retirement pension after 20 years of service, and the benefit increases for those that stay on active duty for longer periods of time. This can provide a pathway to a comfortable retirement, but there is another benefit that flies under the radar.
Veterans Pension for Wartime Service
There is also the Veterans Pension that is available to some people that served when the country was at war.
The length of service requirement for vets that started serving before September 8, 1980, is one day of wartime service and a minimum of 90 days of overall service. Vets who began serving after this date must serve 24 months with one day served during wartime.
Your terms of separation are considered as well. Veterans who were dishonorably discharged are not eligible for the Veterans Pension.
This benefit is for people that are 65 years of age or older. It is also available to veterans of any age that are permanently and completely disabled. People with financial need are the intended recipients. Therefore, the net worth limit is $138,489 in 2022. The net worth limit does not include your home.
Your net worth includes your annual income for Veterans Pension eligibility purposes. For example, if you have $70,000 of assets and $30,000 of annual income, your net worth is $100,000.
Three-Year Look Back Period
On October 18th, 2018, legislative mandate changed some of the parameters. The three-year look back period was one of them.
Prior to this change, people could transfer assets to their loved ones in an effort to gain eligibility without any waiting period. Now, the program will examine your financial transactions going back three years looking for significant transfers.
If you have divested yourself of assets during this three-year period, you would be penalized, and your eligibility would be delayed.
2022 Veterans Pension Rates
In addition to the standard Veterans Pension for eligible veterans, there are two additional designations: Aid and Attendance and Housebound. The Aid and Attendance version is available to veterans that need help with their activities of daily living. The Housebound version is self-explanatory
A single veteran with no dependents that is eligible for the standard pension can receive as much as $14,753 a year. The max Housebound benefit for someone in this position is $18,029. For veterans eligible for Aid and Attendance, the figure is $24,610.
If you have one dependent, the standard benefit is $19,320, Housebound is $22,596, and the Aid and Attendance figure is $29,175. Each additional dependent would increase the standard benefit by $2523.
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A lot of people do not fully understand the potential impact of long-term care costs. Most senior citizens will need professional help with their day-to-day needs eventually. More than one third of elders will spend time in nursing homes.
Of course, there are those that can receive the assistance that they need from an in-home health aide, and they do not have to move. Nursing homes and in-home care are expensive, and Medicare does not cover this type of care.
The Veterans Pension can potentially provide much-needed assistance for some veterans, and Medicaid is another piece of the puzzle. This need-based health insurance program will pay for long-term care if you can gain eligibility.
We know this is a very complicated matter. We can help you understand your options. Take steps today that will lead to future Medicaid eligibility. We will show you how it’s done.
If you are ready to get started, you can call us at 405-843-6100 to schedule a consultation at our Oklahoma City elder care planning office. There is also a contact form on this site you can use to send us a message.