Unfortunately, one of the major thoughts weighing on the minds of our ailing veterans and their families is how to pay for the costs associated with long-term health care. Even if the veteran continues to draw an income, finding the money to pay for an in-home caretaker can be challenging. The VA Aid and Attendance pension can help offset these costs, but the pension can be limited by how much income the veteran earns. These limits vary from year to year. In today’s blog post, Patriot Angels will explore the income limits for the Aid and Attendance pension for 2019.
Income Limits for the Aid and Attendance Pension
The purpose of the pension is to supplement or even replace the veteran’s income to offset medical costs. To determine how much a veteran can count as income to be supplemented by the pension, you can add and subtract the following to find the total:
- The estimated total income
- Assisted living costs per month
- Nursing homes costs per month
- Home care service costs
- Insurance premiums
- Medicare premiums
- Total expenses
Make sure that all of these costs are unreimbursed health care expenses, and then multiply that total by 12 to get an annual income estimate.
The allowed income limit to claim the Aid and Attendance pension varies based on the veteran’s family status.
- Veterans with no dependents can have an income limit of up to $22,577
- Veterans with a spouse or children have an income limit of up to $26,765
- A surviving spouse or those collecting a death pension have an income limit of up to $14,529
Net Worth and Asset Limits for the Aid and Attendance Pension
In addition to income limits, there are also net worth and asset limits for the Aid and Attendance pension. As of October 10th, 2018, there is now a net worth limit of $123,600. This limit is applicable to both single and married veterans and claimants. This net worth is added to by the veteran’s estimated income. For instance, if a veteran makes $10,000 a year and their assets are worth $90,000, their net worth is $100,000.
As part of the VA’s examination of a veteran’s assets, they’ll look back at three years of past asset sales and transfers. This is to ensure that the veteran or their family did not try and transfer or sell any assets to artificially lower their net worth. If they find this to be the case, they will add that asset to the veterans net worth.
What if Your Net Worth is Higher Than $123,600?
If the veterans net worth, including estimated income and assets, are higher than the allowed $123,600, it’s suggested that the veteran and their supporting family members meet with a pension planner or financial advisor to help them. These specialized services may help to improve their odds of receiving the pension.
Need assistance in applying for the VA Aid and Attendance pension? Patriot Angels is here to help. Contact us today to set up a consultation and find out more about our process.