For about the last year I have been an Accredited Attorney with the Veterans Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs. Over that period of time I have been exploring all of the nuances of Veterans Benefits and the situations in which Veterans Benefits can be of most value to my clients and prospective clients. During that period of time we also have successfully represented several clients through the process of applying for and being awarded Veterans pension benefits and Aid and Attendance benefits.
The Veterans pension benefit and Aid and Attendance benefit have been available to veterans since the Spanish American War. A significant improvement was made in 1979. The benefits can be quite meaningful especially for the veteran, or surviving spouse of a veteran, who needs or is receiving in-home care or needs or lives in an assisted living facility. In some cases the Aid and Attendance benefit can be a favorable alternative to Medicaid benefits for the veteran, or spouse, who is in a skilled nursing facility. The basic pension benefit, for those who qualify, can be as much as $1,337 per month for a veteran with spouse; and the Aid and Attendance benefit can be as much as $2,019 per month for a veteran, or spouse, who is receiving in-home care, or lives in an assisted living facility or skilled nursing home. These benefits are not subject to income tax.
Notwithstanding the significant value of these benefits, the Veterans Administration does little to let veterans know of the existence of these benefits. That’s where I would like your help. I would like for you to tell any veteran you know, or the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran, that these benefits are available and ask them to call our office to determine whether they might be eligible for these benefits. There are an estimated 19 million veterans who may qualify for these benefits, who are not currently receiving them. There are potentially multiples of that number of surviving spouses of veterans who may qualify for survivor benefits.
The basic eligibility requirements are that the veteran have served on active duty for at least 90 continuous days, at least one day of that service be during a period of war, and that the veteran is over 65 years of age, or if under age 65 that he or she suffers a total and permanent disability – the disability is not required to be service connected. There are also income and net worth requirements, but there are a host of legal planning options available to facilitate meeting the income and net worth requirements. You can find more information on VA Benefits at our website: www.TheColemanLawFirm.net/VA_Benefits.php.
If you have family members, or friends, who may meet the basic eligibility requirements, give them one of the best gifts possible this holiday season – information that could lead to meaningful tax free income resulting from their service to our country. Ask them to call our office (904-448-1969) to learn whether they may qualify for any of these benefits. My assistants, Sherri, Candace and Ashlee, will help determine whether they might qualify, and schedule an appointment with those who may be entitled to these benefits.
Our very best wishes from The Coleman Law Firm to you and your family for a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year.
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