Honoring Veterans: Make a Plan for Future Benefits

What does the date Nov. 11th mean to you? Do you have special plans for this day? Well, to many Americans, this is a very important day because we get to honor our military veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces on this federal holiday known as Veterans Day.

Interesting facts about Veterans Day

You may wonder if Veterans Day is always celebrated on Nov. 11th. Well, the answer is YES! The date gained its significance because it marks the anniversary of the end of World War I. Major hostilities during this time formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 thereby making this day of honor on 11/11 every year.

How does Veterans Day differ from Memorial Day? Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to ALL American veterans, whether living or dead, who served their country honorably. Even though it originated after WWI, it commemorates veterans of all wars (now over 18 million living veterans).

These service men and women are greatly valued and respected at Hurley Elder Care Law. As they have aged, our practice has dedicated a significant amount of time working with veterans and their families to help them create estate plans and figure out the best options to find, get and pay for long-term care.

The VA offers numerous services to veterans.

Our practice specializes in a pension benefit often referred to as Aid & Attendance (A&A). The A&A benefit is available to wartime veterans or their surviving spouses who are now seniors and facing long-term care costs such as home care, assisted living facility fees and nursing home expenses. This benefit has basic eligibility rules including service, income and asset requirements.

Qualifying for VA Aid and Attendance

This became more challenging in Oct. 2018 when major changes went into effect. These changes now force many families to start planning far in advance to meet the requirements. The benefit is a “spend it to get it” benefit. What we mean by this, is the applicant must be needing and paying for care at the time to receive the benefit even when planning was done in advance. We believe that despite these obstacles, it is still often worth investigating and learning about A&A because it can pay up to $1,911 per month for a single veteran and $2,266 for a married veteran. Surviving spouses needing care can also be eligible for up to $1,228 per month. These amounts can certainly help someone afford the care that they need!

Don’t forget about Medicare open enrollment!

In addition to considering veteran’s benefits, we also work with our veterans to look at other possible payor sources. It is currently open enrollment time for Medicare recipients. The choices may seem endless and confusing. We discussed an overview of Medicare parts and what they may pay for in our Nov. 3 blog. Most people are surprised to learn that Medicare pays for very little when it comes to needed long-term care for older people. This is another reason for preparing and planning in advance for care.

Hurley Elder Care Law can help you explore your options for care

As you can see, we explore many avenues as we help our clients determine how to protect their income and assets while finding the best care possible. We look at VA benefits, Medicare policies, long term care policies, self- funding, and nursing home Medicaid as we put the pieces of the elder care puzzle together. Please call our office at 404-843-0121 to discuss how we can help you investigate the best care options. As we conclude this article, we want to share our immense gratitude to all veterans for serving our country. We will all be thinking of you on your special day, Nov. 11th.

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