A&A has five basic criteria to qualify for financial assistance:
The claimant must be able to qualify for each.
The claimant must be a Veteran or a Widow of a Veteran who served at least 90 days of consecutive active duty, one day of which was during a war time period. It is not necessary that the veteran have been on the front lines, injured, or retired military.
2.) Medical Need:
The claimant must need assistance such as Nursing Home Care, be blind, or need assistance with an activity of daily living (ADL) such as feeding, bathing, dressing, managing medications, toileting, etc.
The program is financial need-based and the VA will award a tax free pension to the claimant to bring the household income up to the federal limit ($1,949 for Married Veterans, $1,644 for Single Veterans, and $1,056 for Single Widows). To qualify, on the application, the claimant may reduce their income for all unreimbursed medical expenses. For example, an individual spending their entire income for medical care would have income of zero for the purposes of the VA Application and could get the full amount up to the federal limit.
Excluding the home and one car the claimant must have less than $80,000 in resources. This $80,00 is a maximum, and usually, the claimant must have much less. This asset amount is where the significant planning must be done to be able to qualify.
Make sure your advisor is knowledgeable
Veterans benefits are easier to qualify for than Medicaid since, at this time, the VA does not penalize the claimant for transferring assets, for example to their children, or in some cases to an exempt trust.
It is important to talk to a VA Accredited Attorney who is also regularly works qualifying clients for Medicaid before applying and before making any financial decisions. Some transfers of assets could disqualify the individual for Medicaid assistance later on, a situation that could be disastrous for someone who requires long term nursing home care.