VA Benefits 2022

2022 Basic Household Aid & Attendance
Veteran & Spouse $19,320 $22,596 $29,175
Veteran $14,753 $18,029 $24,610
Surviving Spouse $9,896 $12,094 $15,816

Countable assets do not include your house, your car, and your personal property. Retirement accounts are included as countable assets, but the VA allows you to keep $138,489.

Even if you don’t qualify today, we can help you qualify using a Veterans’ Asset Protection Trust or VAP Trust. There is a 3-year look back period so you do have to wait for three years after putting your extra savings and assets into the VAP Trust before applying for benefits, but you receive pension benefits from the VA after approval for life based upon your level of need. The more help you need, the higher the pension that is paid until you reach the highest level or Aid and Attendance.

Please call us if you feel that you may be a candidate for this pension benefit in the future. The worst scenario is coming to my office when you could have been receiving it for months or even years in the past. I can only obtain retroactive benefits back to the date of application. If you never apply, you don’t have a retroactive date for payment. If you’re not a veteran, this a great way to be an angel to neighbors and friends who could use a little extra cash to maintain themselves in their homes or assisted living facilities.

Medicaid 2022 Benefits Information:

Medicaid does not count: your home (equity must be less than $604,000), one car, $2,000 for the sick spouse, $135,400 for the healthy spouse, $10,000 in life insurance cash value or other cash for burial for each spouse, and burial plots and paying for opening and closing the gravesite is completely exempt if you pay cash upfront. The big bonus for Medicaid applicants is that retirement accounts do not count as resources as long as you are receiving periodic payments.

Guess what? If you have a healthy spouse, they get to keep more than $3,900 in income from their unhealthy spouse so that the healthy spouse always has $3900 to live on even while their spouse is receiving Medicaid benefits.

There is a five-year look-back period for Medicaid applicants. What does that mean? Well, when you apply, Medicaid will ask you: “Did you give away any property or cash in the last five years that could have been used for your care?” If you have to answer yes, then Medicaid will penalize you based on the amount or value of what you gave away.

For example, if you give away your $500,000 home to your daughter. Medicaid will penalize you based on the amount Medicaid pays for a month of skilled nursing care. Let’s say that’s $6,800 per month. If you divide 500,000 by 6,800, you get 73.5. Medicaid will penalize you for 74 months – that means that you won’t be able to benefit from Medicaid programs for 74 months and will be forced to pay for services privately.

If the home cannot be given back to your loved one and they don’t have other savings to pay privately, the mistake of simply giving the home to the daughter can make life extremely difficult for the senior.

By calling Wilson Legal and planning ahead the right way, you can answer NO when Medicaid asks you if you’ve given anything away in the last five years. At Wilson Legal, you can make sure that you either avoid penalties altogether with advance planning or plan for intentionally generating a penalty that is half as large as our prior example and leaves adequate savings to pay for care during the penalty period.

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