Princeton Veterans Benefits Lawyer
Princeton Veterans Benefits Lawyer
Veterans who need help with the activities of daily living have access to Aid and Attendance benefits, but many are completely unaware of the program. Unfortunately, many of our veterans leave money on the table because they do not know whether they qualify or how to apply. If you served in the military and are disabled, give Scott Counsel, P.C. a call. Our Princeton veterans benefits lawyer can review whether you qualify.
What is Aid & Attendance?
This is a monthly allowance which supplements your pension. To qualify, you must be confined to a nursing home or need at-home help with daily activities. The VA envisions that this monthly supplemental benefit will go to paying for this medical care. However, the money you receive is unrestricted, which means you can use it on anything.
In 2022, the maximum an unmarried veteran can receive is $2,050 a month, tax-free. If you are married, then the maximum is $2,431 a month. The maximum amount is adjusted regularly to account for inflation.
Do You Qualify for Aid & Attendance?
The eligibility requirements are complicated, and not all military veterans will qualify. Any applicant must show that they have sufficient military service as well as a disability that requires assistance.
For military service, a veteran must meet all of the following:
- You receive a military pension.
- You have received an honorable discharge.
- You served at least 90 days on active duty, with one day during a wartime period such as the Gulf War or Vietnam.
Veterans also must show that their physical condition warrants payment. You must meet one of the following:
- You need daily help with tasks such as feeding yourself, grooming, bathing, or getting dressed; or
- You spend most of the day in bed due to illness; or
- Your eyesight is sufficiently limited; or
- You reside in a nursing home because of a physical or mental disability.
Income Qualifications for Aid & Attendance
Aid and Attendance benefits are also means-tested. Consequently, all applicants must show that their income is sufficiently low before they can be approved. You can be disabled and have adequate military service but still be disqualified if your income is too high.
The VA looks at your countable household income and compares it to the maximum annual pension rate (MAPR). Your household income must be lower to qualify. And the difference between your countable household income and the MAPR will determine your monthly allowance.
Countable household income includes all income for you, your spouse, and your dependents living with you. You can’t leave out your spouse’s income. Countable income includes things like:
- Social Security benefits
- Retirement payments
- Investment income
- Business earnings
- Other income
However, you do get to deduct certain unreimbursed medical expenses from the amount. For some veterans, deducting these expenses will help them qualify. Let our Princeton veterans benefits lawyer double-check your countable income.
Maximum Net Worth for Aid and Attendance
In addition to income requirements, the VA sets a net worth limit. As of 2022, the limit is $138,489. It gets adjusted regularly.
Net worth includes all assets and income for you and your spouse. However, it doesn’t include your child’s net worth.
Assets include the market value of all assets, such as:
- Real estate
- Other investments
To determine market value, you can deduct any mortgage.
The VA does not count your primary residence, car, or basic appliances for net worth. But they will engage in a three-year “look-back” to see if you transferred assets for less than the fair market value during this time. If you did, you can be penalized.
Spousal Aid and Attendance Benefits
If you are a spouse who is receiving a surviving spouse pension, then you also could qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits. You will need to meet the income and net worth requirements listed above. You must also be confined to a nursing home, have poor vision, or need assistance with daily activities. An attorney can help review your situation to see if you qualify.
What is the Housebound Benefit?
This is similar to Aid and Attendance. A veteran qualifies if they are permanently disabled and spend most of their time stuck at home as a result. It is a monthly benefit, though the maximum amounts are a little lower than with Aid and Attendance. When meeting with clients, we will consider whether you are eligible for either program.
Can a Princeton Veterans Benefits Attorney Help?
Yes. We realize that the eligibility requirements might appear confusing. Many veterans call us because they don’t know if their service overlapped with a war period or they are unsure if their income or net worth is too high. Unfortunately, far too many veterans simply assume that they cannot qualify when in fact they do.
At Scott Counsel, our attorneys can assist veterans in the following ways:
- Analyze whether you qualify for benefits.
- Complete application paperwork for you and submit it to the VA.
- Obtain supporting documents, such as evidence from a doctor about your physical condition.
- Request an appeal if you are denied benefits unfairly.
- Represent you on appeal before the relevant board.
We can also assist with veterans benefits planning. For example, you might have low income but too many assets, so you are disqualified from Aid and Attendance because of the VA’s net worth limits. If you don’t need veterans’ benefits right now, you might need them in a few years. With the right planning, you can bring your net worth below the limit and not violate the three-year “look back” bar.
Give Our Princeton Veterans Benefits Lawyer a Call Today
Veterans who honorably served our nation should receive the care they need when they cannot take care of themselves. Aid and Attendance, as well as the Housebound benefit, are terrific resources to have, which can ease the stress of your golden years.
To get started, please call Scott Counsel today, at (856) 281-3131 or submit an online message. We will carefully review whether you qualify for assistance and complete the application process for you. Our consultations are free and confidential.
– When my son, who has Cystic Fibrosis and CF related diabetes, was suddenly and unexpectedly removed from his Medicaid program, we were devastated and frightened not knowing where we would get the resources to pay for his extremely high priced prescriptions. Justin was the attorney who handled our case. From the very beginning, he proved to be very thorough and experienced with navigating the process of reversing the Medicaid decision. However, it was his apparent kind, caring nature that made us feel the most at ease. Justin was successful in securing a continuation of benefits for my son, and we are extremely grateful for having his expertise during this most stressful ongoing process. Thank you, Justin!
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