Long term care insurance provides protection against the ever rising cost of long term care. Depending on the policy, this insurance can be used to cover independent living, assisted living, home health services, and nursing homes. Due to the increased lifespan of the general population, there have been several recent changes to the long term care insurance products offered. These changes have resulted in higher premiums, constriction of benefits, and a cap on the amount that can be used to pay for long term care. VA pension benefits can be an useful method of extending the cap on coverage.
VA Pension Benefits, also known as Veterans Pension with aid and attendance is a program by the VA that helps cover long term care. VA pension provides monthly cash payments to veterans and widow(er)s to cover long term care costs. For 2015, the monthly payment that a widow can receive is $1,149 a month, and the monthly benefit for a veteran is $1,788 a month. Receiving these benefits can decrease the amount of money that must be drawn off a long term care policy, which allows the benefit to last for a longer period of time and cover more care. This is especially useful for hybrid long term care and life insurance policies. The addition of the VA benefit allows less to be deducted from the hybrid policy, and therefore increases the death benefit remaining.
There are several asset and income tests that govern the receipt of VA pension it is advisable to seek the services of an experienced elder law attorney who can be a guide through the application process, while balancing other considerations, such as tax and other long term care program. An experienced elder law attorney can also assist in calculating the most advantageous method to blend long term care insurance and VA pension.