Ask The Expert: Financial Services
Kevin Wedmore, President of Hoosier Senior Solutions in Indianapolis, Indiana
Q: What is the V. A. Aid and Attendance benefit?
A: The Aid and Attendance benefit is a program to provide monetary assistance for certain veterans, their spouses, or their surviving spouses when that individual needs assistance with care for non-service connected disabilities (such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke, etc.). This care can be provided at home, a licensed healthcare facility, or an assisted living community. The facility care provider DOES NOT need to be contracted with the Veterans Administration in order for benefits to be awarded.
Q: Who can qualify for the V.A. Aid and Attendance benefit?
A: The Aid and Attendance benefit is available to veterans, their spouses, or their surviving spouses if the veteran served at least one day during a period of war (did not have to be in combat), served at least 90 days of active duty, and was discharged for any reason other than dishonorably. In addition, the veteran, spouse, or surviving spouse must now need the aid or assistance of another individual for help with at least one activity of daily living or because of blindness or mental incapacity.
Q: How much financial assistance is available from the V.A. Aid and Attendance benefit?
A: The Aid and Attendance benefit can be used to pay for home healthcare, assisted living, memory care or even nursing care. Care can be provided by any facility or individual (including children of the veteran). The amount available to help pay for care is tied to the veteran’s income and their unreimbursed medical expenses (including Medicare, supplemental insurance, cost of care, etc.) and can be as much as $2053 per month TAX FREE for a married veteran, $1731 per month for a single veteran, and $1112 for the surviving spouse of a veteran.
Q: Must I ‘spend down’ my assets in order to qualify for assistance?
A: The VA has a special set of rules that will allow you to qualify without spending down assets provided you carefully follow their guidelines. There is no penalty for making the necessary changes in order to meet the qualification guidelines. Hoosier Senior Solutions can guide you through this process.
Q: What other things should you consider when qualifying for the V.A. Aid and Attendance benefit?
A: Since the Aid and Attendance benefit is limited and will not provide sufficient resources to pay for an extended or higher cost of care, planning should be done at the same time to consider such a scenario. This would include a full discussion of state nursing home benefits, other V.A. benefits, asset protection, and legal matters to protect your estate from both healthcare and probate costs. Hoosier Senior Solutions works closely with financial planners, elder law attorneys, and CPAs to address these issues and ensure that you access any public benefits that will help soften the burden of these high costs.
Q: What’s the next step?
A: Call Hoosier Senior Solutions today to arrange a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION. We will work closely with you and your family to help determine which programs may be beneficial to you and your loved ones to help pay for care.
KEVIN WEDMORE, is the President of Hoosier Senior Solutions. Kevin has spent over 38 years in the financial services industry assisting Indiana families who are experiencing a transition into long-term healthcare environments; including home health care, assisted living, nursing home or memory care. With an emphasis on issues related to Medicaid and Veteran’s Benefits, Kevin has assisted thousands of families with an understanding of who is responsible for paying at each level of care and has also assisted those families with decisions and planning strategies that help them obtain any public benefits for which they are entitled. The Hoosier Senior Solutions team consists of in-house VA accredited attorneys and claims agents. Hoosier Senior Solutions is a member of the Central Indiana Better Business Bureau.