Who Can Receive VA Benefits?

You may be eligible for a monthly check from the VA… in many cases $1000 or $2000 per month or more for services you (or your spouse) performed for our country many years (even decades) ago.

What follows in this article is a lot of legalese. And it’s important. In fact, some of my clients want to go through it line by line. I understand that and am happy to provide the information to you.

But maybe you’re like so many of my other clients who don’t want to know all the details. They just want to know if they’ve got any benefits coming from the VA due to their, or their spouse’s, service.  If that’s you… if you want the bottom line… if you want to find out if it’s likely you’re eligible for a monthly check from the VA (I say likely eligible because of course the VA makes the final decision), then the quickest way to find out is to call my office at (336) 455-8955.

Then, after a short conversation with one of my staff members, we’ll be able to give you an understanding of what benefits may, or may not, be available through the VA.

For many of my clients, guiding them through the VA maze has helped them become eligible for $1000 to $1500 per month, or more, tax free!

What’s more, there’s no charge for the phone call and absolutely no obligation on your part.

If there are things we can help you with to get you qualified, we’ll let you now. And if there’s nothing to do… no steps to take… we’ll let you know that too.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a trusted guide… someone who has been on this path many times before, shine a light and show you where to go and what pitfalls to avoid? That’s what we do for our clients as we take them towards VA benefit eligibility.

If you’d like to jump right to the end and discover if you’re eligible for a VA benefit, call me at (336) 378-1122. Or, if you’d prefer, email me at elderlaw@elderlawfirm.com and ask me to follow up with you. That way, if you “Need Answers Now” you’ve got a place to turn to. And I’m happy to help you right away if you’d like.

In the meantime, here is the information I promised you…

So you want to know about the veteran’s benefits maze? Here’s the “instant gratification” portion. I know it’s daunting! This is exactly why at my firm we call it a “maze”… because this is what we wade through to get the benefits that the veteran you love has earned. Take a quick look now, but don’t worry – we’re going to walk you through all of this legalese in Plain Old English during our course… and there may well be a very big payoff for you and your loved ones by the time we figure this out together.

***VA Benefits Chart (2014 figures)***

Service Pension Rates (The veteran is alive):

Category – Service Pension

Maximum Annual Pension Rate – $12,652
Monthly MAPR – $1,054
With one dependent:
Maximum Annual Pension Rate – $16,569
Monthly MAPR – $1,381

Category – Housebound

Maximum Annual Pension Rate – $15,461
Monthly MAPR – $1,288
With one dependent:
Maximum Annual Pension Rate – $19,379
Monthly MAPR – $1,615

Category – Aid and Attendance

Maximum Annual Pension Rate – $21,107
Monthly MAPR – $1,759
With one dependent:
Maximum Annual Pension Rate – $25,022
Monthly MAPR – $2,085

For each additional dependent child:
Maximum Annual Pension Rate – $2,161
Monthly MAPR – $180 additional

Death Pension Rates (The veteran is NOT alive):

Category – Death Pension

Maximum Annual Pension Rate – $8,484
Monthly MAPR – $707
With one dependent child:
Maximum Annual Pension Rate – $11,106
Monthly MAPR – $926

Category – Housebound

Maximum Annual Pension Rate – $10,370.26
Monthly MAPR -$864
With one dependent child:
Maximum Annual Pension Rate – $12,987.94
Monthly MAPR – $1,082

Category – Aid and Attendance Maximum Annual Pension Rate – $13,562

Monthly MAPR – $1,130
With one dependent child:
Maximum Annual Pension Rate – $16,179
Monthly MAPR – $1,348

For each additional dependent child:
Maximum Annual Pension Rate – $2,161
Monthly MAPR – $180 additional

*The Critical Calculation:*
Gross Income (minus) Exclusions = IVAP

What if your assets are too high? 

Medicaid Lookback: 5 years
VA Lookback: NONE (But this is likely to change to 3 years soon)

*The Demanded Difference:*

MAPR minus IVAP

The Law: 

*CFR Chapter 38: INCOME*

Section 3.271(a): Payments of any kind from any source shall be counted as income during the 12-month annualization period in which received unless specifically excluded under Sec. 3.272.

*CFR Chapter 38: NET WORTH*

Section 3.274(a): Pension shall be denied or discontinued when the corpus of the estate of the veteran, and of the veteran’s spouse, are such that under all the circumstances, including consideration of the annual income of the veteran, the veteran’s spouse, and the veteran’s children, it is reasonable that some part of the corpus of such estates be consumed for the veteran’s maintenance.

Section 3.275(b): The terms corpus of estate and net worth mean the market value, less mortgages or other encumbrances, of all real and personal property owned by the claimant, except the claimant’s dwelling (single family unit), including a reasonable lot area, and personal effects suitable to and consistent with the claimant’s reasonable mode of life.

Section 3.275(d): In determining whether some part of the claimant’s estate (or combined estates under § 3.274 (a) and (e)) should be consumed for the claimant’s maintenance, consideration will be given to the amount of the claimant’s income together with the following: Whether the property can be readily converted into cash at no substantial sacrifice; life expectancy; number of dependents who meet the definition of member of the family (the definition contained in § 3.250(b)(2) is applicable to the improved pension program); potential rate of depletion, including unusual medical expenses under the principles outlined in § 3.272(g) for the claimant and the claimant’s dependents.

*CFR Chapter 38: GIFTING*

Section 3.276(b): For pension purposes, a gift of property made by an individual to a relative residing in the same household shall not be recognized as reducing the corpus of the grantor’s estate. A sale of property to such a relative shall not be recognized as reducing the corpus of the seller’s estate if the purchase price, or other consideration for the sale, is so low as to be tantamount to a gift. A gift of property to someone other than a relative residing in the grantor’s household will not be recognized as reducing the corpus of the grantor’s estate unless it is clear that the grantor has relinquished all rights of ownership, including the right of control of the property.