How do VA Pensions and Medicaid work together?

How Do VA Special Pensions and Medicaid Work Together to Pay for Nursing Home Level Care?

If you are reading this, then chances are that you or your loved one is a veteran or surviving spouse of a veteran. First, let us thank you for your service. We want to be sure that veterans and spouses can utilize every benefit available to them to get the care that they need. Things can get tricky when someone who is eligible for a special VA pension requires nursing home level care. People wonder what benefit is right for them and how these benefits can combine.  We are here to shed some light on how VA Pensions and Medicaid work together. Here are the facts:

VA Pensions may not be enough to cover the cost of the nursing home.

The maximum pension that a veteran can receive in 2024 is $2,727 for a married veteran and $2,301 for a single or widowed veteran. If the veteran is deceased, the maximum for a surviving spouse is $1,479. With the cost of nursing home care continuously rising, this may not be enough to supplement income and pay for care. It is often most beneficial to pursue Medicaid in order to pay for nursing home level care.

VA Pensions are treated differently in Medicaid income calculations.

The caseworker will carefully examine any VA pensions received to determine if they are countable income for Medicaid purposes. Pension and service-connected benefits are considered income and applied towards Medicaid income limits. Aid and attendance and Unreimbursed Medical Expenses may not be considered income. It is a good idea to have an experienced attorney familiar with VA benefits in their entirety examine what is being received and determine how the income is viewed under Medicaid policy. A lack of understanding about the type of VA income received can lead to loss of Medicaid eligibility.

The VA must be notified of changes to living arrangements and medical expenses.

It is critical to notify the Veterans Administration of changes promptly. If Medicaid is paying for care, then the VA may deem that Aid and Attendance is no longer necessary. When a VA recipient is approved for Medicaid, the VA often reduces the amount of the monthly benefit to $90.00. It is important to address these matters once Medicaid eligibility has been established. Failure to properly disclose information to the VA may result in costly overpayments.

The attorney’s at Hurley Elder Care Law have helped many clients navigate how VA pensions and Medicaid work together. We can help plan for your future once the need for lifelong care has been established. We can review the specifics of your situation and explain how you may benefit from both Medicaid and VA Special pensions.  Our goal is to ensure that you or your loved one receives adequate care while preserving funds needed to have the best quality of life possible.

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