Archive for the ‘VA Benefits’ Category

Change to VA Benefits

Today’s older veterans deserve recognition for their commitment, service and sacrifice. Undoubtedly, our country is what it is today because of what they gave.  We owe them so much. Every day we talk to veterans and their families about benefits that they are entitled to. Oftentimes, these veterans are completely unaware that their service from decades ago matters today. Most notably, our elder law attorneys help families secure VA Pension with Aid and Attendance benefits. This cash benefit is tax-free and helps cover an eligible veteran’s (or surviving spouse’s) costs for caregivers, nursing homes or assisted living. The benefit is…

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VA Service-Connected Disability Compensation

The Veterans Administration provides an important benefit for veterans who have a service-connected disability. This benefit is called "Compensation" and is different from the non-service-connected "Pension" benefit that elder law attorneys often discuss with wartime veteran clients or their surviving spouses. Like pension, VA compensation comes in the form of income-tax-free money payments to the veteran, who must have received a discharge other than dishonorable, and to certain of their family members. The big difference from the pension program, however, is that VA compensation entirely flows from the linkage between the veteran's disability (or death)and his or her military service….

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Only VA ACCREDITED AGENTS can help you with VA applications, otherwise, its against the law.

David Wingate attended a VA Continuing Education Class. The course covered claims procedures, VA eligibility, service and non service connected pensions, and additional information related to VA benefits. Only VA ACCREDITED AGENTS can help you with VA applications, otherwise, its against the law. Related articles Filing a VA Claim

Filing a VA Claim

As we all know, the VA claims process can take a long time from the submission of an application to the payment of a benefit.  Historically, the process has ranged from a few months to well over a year.  If the claimant is found to be incompetent, one could tack on another six to eight months to the process. Oftentimes, the claimant dies before ever seeing an award and with no hope of payment of benefits to the family.  This begs us to ask, "Is there a way to speed the claim up?" The answer is "Yes" in most cases. …

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Is the Cost of Independent Living Considered an Acceptable Medical Expense When Applying for VA Pension?

There is much confusion about whether or not the cost of ANY facility is still considered by the VA as a medical expense to offset total household gross income for VA pension purposes. VA Fast Letter 12-23, dated October 26, 2012, was intended to clarify this issue as it relates to independent living facilities. Unfortunately, like with many government explanations, the issue is still very confusing to many people. Although this Fast Letter was intended to explain the costs associated with independent living, many VA adjudicators are applying its rules to assisted living facilities as well. The old saying, "When in Rome…."…

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What is the VA’s Fast Letter?

The Fast Letter directs that, in the future, VA will interpret its pension regulations as follows: The cost of room and board at a residential facility is a UME if the facility provides custodial care to the individual, or the individual's physician states in writing that the claimant must reside in that facility to separately contract for custodial care with a third-party provider. A facility provides custodial care if it assists the individual with two or more ADLs. If the facility does not provide the claimant custodial care, or the claimant's physician does not prescribe care by a third-party provider…

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As Congress and the President debate putting limits on Medicare and Medicaid, new restrictions are also being placed on Veterans benefits.

Recently, the VA has changed its policy in a way that limits the pension awards available to veterans who are receiving care in senior and independent living facilities. Issued as a “clarification” of policy, VA Fast Letter 12-23 limits the unreimbursed medical expenses (UMEs) that may be deducted from income for pension purposes – specifically in regard to the cost of room and board at a facility.  Fast Letter 12-23 discusses the circumstances under which the cost of room and board paid to senior or independent living facilities will be treated as a UME. It suggests that in some past…

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Veteran’s Benefits Seminar

We recently presented a seminar on Veteran's Benefits

Free seminar explains how veteran may qualify for a benefit of up to $2,000 a month to cover the cost of long term care.

Veterans and their families can learn about a Veterans benefit that will help cover the cost of long term care at a free seminar at the FSK American Legion Post #11, 1450 Taney Avenue, Frederick, Maryland. The seminar, presented by elder law attorney, David Wingate is Thursday, April 12 th, 2012, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The cost of long term care can be expensive, often times depleting assets that have been accumulated over a lifetime. But veterans may qualify for Aid and Attendance from the VA. Eligible veterans may qualify for a benefit of up to $2,000 a…

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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) now 100% Service Connected for Certain Veterans

VA published a final rulemaking in the Federal Registry on December 20, 2011 to revise the evaluation criterion for ALS in the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities. This new ruling affords any veteran with ALS who served 90 days active duty (with typically an other than dishonorable discharge) to be rated 100% service connected from the onset of his service connected award. This eliminates the need for the veteran to continue to be re-evaluated, given the severity and progressive nature of the disease. This amendment became effective on January 19, 2012 and applies for benefits that: are received by the…

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