This Week’s Financial Strategy – Do You Qualify for this Little Known Government Benefit?

November 3, 2010

An excerpt from Follow the Money Weekly Radio with Jerry Robinson – 10/30/10

To hear the entire program, click here.

by John Bearss

Transcript

Hi Jerry. Helping people come up with enough income that will help them pay for their medical expenses is always one of the big challenges in financial planning.

Today, I would like to focus on a benefit that most people do not know is available and that benefit is called the Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Benefit.

Who is eligible for this benefit?  A veteran aged 65 or older or permanently and totally disabled from a non-service connected disability that is not the result of his or her willful misconduct is entitled to a pension.  Additionally, the veteran must have not been dishonorably discharged.  He must have served 90 days or more of active duty with at least 1 day during a period of war time and medical expenses that create more expenses than their income can pay for.  Prime candidates for this benefit are veterans and surviving spouses that currently reside in an assisted living facility, a nursing home or has home health care expenses.  Widows and widowers of veterans are also eligible to apply.

If you qualify the benefit is an excellent way to increase your income and this income is tax free.  If you qualify a veteran and a spouse who both have medical expenses can receive up to $1,949 per month.  A single veteran can receive as much as $1,644 per month and a surviving spouse can receive up to $1,056 per month.

This special program was designed to provide financial assistance to wartime veterans or their surviving spouse who lack the funds necessary to pay for the assistance they require with routine activities of daily living.

A wide range of physical and mental conditions are considered by the VA when determining eligibility for Aid and Attendance Benefits.  Some conditions that can qualify an individual for this benefit include:

1.  Requiring assistance with dressing or undressing themselves

2.  Requiring assistance with bathing and other hygienic tasks

3.  Requiring assistance with attending to the wants of nature

4.  Requiring assistance with eating

5.  Requiring frequent assistance with the adjustment of any special prosthetic or orthopedic device

6.  Being legally blind in both eyes

7.  Or, any incapacity, physical or mental that requires ongoing supervision and assistance to ensure safety and well-being.

In addition, other conditions and needs may be taken into consideration for determining benefit eligibility.

How do you apply?  You can contact the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as various Veterans’ Service Organization and they can help you with all of the paperwork required to apply.  I do recommend that you work with a financial planner that has experience in dealing with the Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit because they will be able to help guide you through the process before you apply.

I trust this financial insight has been helpful and I look forward to the next time when I can help you provide the foundation for a lifetime of financial independence.

About John Bearss: John R. Bearss is a Retirement Specialist with the Christian Financial Advisor Network. He has been helping clients and financial professionals understand financial strategies for 24 years.

Disclaimer: John Bearss is a registered representative of and does offer securities through Sicor Securities, Inc.  Lifetime Decisions Management, nor it’s representatives provide legal or tax advice.  Please consult your CPA or qualified tax advisor before making any decisions. Lifetime Decisions Management, Inc. is not a subsidiary of nor controlled by SICOR Securities, Inc.

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