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Obtaining Aid and Attendance for Our Nation's Veterans

The Einterz Law Offices, based in Noblesville, Indiana, are proud to serve the men and women that dedicated themselves to our great nation. Our law office helps US veterans and their spouses obtain veteran's benefits when they are in need. We help gain aid and attendance for US veterans of the following conflicts:

World War II: December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946 | Korean Conflict: June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955 | Vietnam Era: August 15, 1964 through May 7, 1975; for Veterans Who Served "in Country" before August 5, 1964, February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975 | Gulf War: August 2, 1990 through a Date to Be Set by Law or Presidential Proclamation


Eligibility for Aid and Attendance

There must have been an honorable discharge for eligibility. Single surviving spouses of such veterans are also eligible. If younger than 65, the veteran must be completely disabled. If age 65 and older, there is no requirement to prove disability. However, the veteran or spouse must be in need of regular aid and attendance due to:

Inability of Claimant to Dress or Undress Themselves or to Keep Themselves Ordinarily Clean and Presentable | Frequent Need of Adjustment of Any Special Prosthetic or Orthopedic Appliances Which by Reason of the Particular Disability Cannot Be Done without Aid, Such as Supports, Belts, Lacing at the Back Etc.) | Inability to Feed Themselves through Loss of Coordination of Upper Extremities or through Extreme Weakness | Inability to Attend to the Wants of Nature | Incapacity, Physical or Mental, Which Requires Care or Assistance on a Regular Basis to Protect the Claimant from Hazards or Dangers Incident to His or Her Daily Environment

    

Veteran
Veteran Saluting

Not all of the disabling conditions in the list above are required to exist. It is only necessary that the evidence establish that the veteran or spouse needs "regular" aid and attendance from someone else, not that there be a 24-hour need.

Determination of a need for the aid and attendance or housebound benefit is based on medical reports and findings by private physicians or hospital facilities. Approval of aid and attendance or housebound benefits is automatic if evidence establishes the claimant is a patient in a nursing home or that the claimant is blind or nearly blind or having severe visual problems.


Filing a Claim

Filing a claim for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit is complex and time-consuming. If you want to do it correctly, it's important to get qualified assistance. Just knowing which form to fill out and how to complete it is a complex endeavor in itself. Even if the proper form is completed, failure to check a single box may result in a complete denial of your claim. The application process involves:

Getting a Rating | Obtaining Evidence of Prospective, Recurring Medical Expenses, Appointments for VA Powers of Attorney and Fiduciaries | A Thorough Understanding of the Application Process

Often, qualification for this benefit involves reallocation of assets and shifting of income in order to qualify. These reallocations may have a significant impact on Medicaid eligibility.

Many veterans in need of the Aid and Attendance Benefit will eventually wind up needing Medicaid. This process should not be attempted without the help of a qualified elder law attorney who thoroughly understands both the Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit and the Medicaid program, as well as the interaction between these two benefit programs.

Asset Transfers

VA will allow assets to be transferred or converted to income in order to meet the asset test. There is no look-back penalty for transferring assets as there is with Medicaid. However, because the veteran or the surviving spouse might need to apply for Medicaid in the future, it is extremely important to consider future Medicaid eligibility when  transferring assets or converting assets to income in order to obtain eligibility for the Veterans Aid and Attendance.

The Asset Test

There is an asset test to qualify for the Aid and Attendance Benefit. Any asset or investment that could be easily converted into income might disqualify the claimant. An asset ceiling of $80,000 is often cited in the media as being the test. However, the $80,000 has to do with the VA internal filing requirements and is not an actual test. In reality, there is no dollar amount for the test and any level of assets could block the award.

Asset Exemptions

A primary residence, vehicles, and difficult-to-sell property are generally excluded from the asset test.  However, some assets that are considered to be exempt by Medicaid (e.g. life estates) are considered to be countable by the VA.