Archive for March 16th, 2009

I want to comment on an exciting area of Elder Law that is not well known: Veterans’ Benefits. Why is this area so significant? Because roughly a third of seniors who are candidates for long-term care are either veterans or widows of veterans. None of these persons wants to go to a nursing home if they need only moderately skilled long-term-care. However, Medicaid will only pay for a nursing home, it will not pay for an assisted living facility. As a consequence, many feel they have no choice. Nevertheless, most of these veterans do not realize that they can qualify for an “Aid & Attendance” pension. According to the National Care Planning Council, approximately one-third of all seniors over 65 could be eligible for “Aid & Attendance” benefits, but only about thirty percent of those are actually receiving it. The amounts obtainable are these: monthly payment for an individual: $1519 ($18,234 annually),  monthly payment for a married couple: $1801 ($21,618 annually), and monthly payment for a surviving spouse of a veteran: $976 ($11,712 annually).  Assisted living centers typically charge between $2000-$4000 per month. Thus, many of these persons would not be able to afford the monthly rate without the veterans’ benefit (because they have only $500-$1500 in Social Security and pension). With these Aid & Attendance benefits, most can afford the assisted living care they need. (more…)


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