As the population ages, the need for long term care rises. As families consider the cost of long term care, there is often a delicate balancing between getting the care that is needed and not exhausting the resources of the senior who needs care. This balancing involves consideration of the senior’s income stream, including Social Security and pensions, and a valuation of the amount that can conservatively be withdrawn from savings. For many seniors, VA pension is another income stream that can be used to pay for long term care.
VA pension is a little known and underutilized program administered by the Veterans Administration that provides monthly tax free cash payments to veterans and their surviving spouses to pay for long term care. These payments can be used to fund a ride range of care options, including assisted living, nursing homes, and at home health care. The cash payments each month can be used for a variety of care providers. Along with having a medical need for long term care, applicants for VA pension must satisfy income and asset requirements, a description of such can be found under the VA pension tab of this website.
Many veterans and surviving spouses are hesitant to apply for VA pension feeling that they have adequate income and resources to cover their care needs without the benefit. But, many families find that with the VA pension benefit, they are able to afford more hours of care, a better environment, or treatments that are not covered by insurance. The cost of providing care can also increase both due to the fast rising cost of healthcare and increased need for care. Due to these increased expenses, it is advisable to start the application process early.
As there are many different considerations to balance in obtaining VA pension, such as transferring of assets for Medicaid, it is recommended that those seeking VA pension contact an experienced elder law attorney.