VA Pension with aid and attendance is a benefit provided by the federal government that provides monthly cash to veterans and their surviving spouses to pay for long term care. The money can be used for a variety of long term care expenses, such as assisted living, independent living, nursing homes, and home health care. Qualifying for the VA often requires the assistance of an experienced elder law attorney, as a medical need for such care needs to be shown and the applicant must meet asset and income rules to qualify. Often, even when care is made to move assets, explain medical need for such care, and document income, the VA still may deny the claim.
The VA has a very rigid set of rules it must follow. Any application that violates such rules even slightly, will be denied. For example, we had a case where instead of putting the number “0,” we put “n/a,” and the VA denied the application. This was a simple fix, as we sent an amended form with a “0,” and in two weeks the veteran received an approval. There are also issues created when the VA looks at the applicant’s prior tax returns in hopes of finding income and assets that were not reported. The VA will often see a one-time withdraw from a retirement account and incorrectly conclude that the veteran or surviving spouse receives such a distribution every year. An experienced elder law attorney can explain away these incorrect assumptions by the VA and obtain approval.