Aging, disabled, and elderly veterans can often take advantage of some specific benefits programs as they go about the estate planning process. A comprehensive estate plan will take advantage of all the benefits available to you through whatever government program might apply. For veterans, this often means using different veterans programs that are not unavailable to most people, but which may also be unknown to you.
Veterans Estate Planning in Greensboro NC
Improved Pension Benefit Program
One of the most underutilized programs available to many veterans is the Improved Pension Benefit program. Unlike many other benefits, the Improved Pension Benefit program does not require the veteran to have a service related disability. Additionally, the veteran does not need to have served in combat, nor does he or she have to be currently retired from the military. Though there are specific eligibility criteria involved, the Improved Pension Benefit Program can provide essential assistance to elderly veterans who do not have service related disability yet who still require help.
Veterans Aid and Attendance Program
Veterans Aid and Attendance, along with the basic pension and the household benefit, is one of the three parts of the Improved Pension Benefit Program. Any veteran who requires regular care from someone else to meet necessary daily tasks, such as eating, dressing, or taking medication, can apply for the Aid and Attendance benefit. It’s also available to veterans who are incapacitated and in a nursing home, as well as those who are blind.
This type of benefit is often ideally suited for veterans or their spouses who live at home, or wish to remain at home, even though they are facing significant health issues that require regular assistance from someone else.
Veterans Nursing Home Program
For veterans who are unable to stay at home, or who choose to reside in a nursing home facility, the veterans Nursing Home Program can be a great benefit. But, because veterans nursing home spaces often limited, and the care provided in these facilities is sometimes regarded as less than ideal, many veterans may want to explore other options other than using the Nursing Home program.
When exploring nursing home options, veterans need to carefully weigh the nursing home program against using Medicaid to pay for extended care costs. The two programs have very different eligibility criteria. Not only do they use different asset limits, but they also have different look-back periods that apply to gifting and transferring assets to others.
If you or a loved one is a veteran, make it a point to talk to an estate planning attorney soon. The number of programs available to veterans often go overlooked, and can be essential tools when crafting an estate plan or preparing for elder care.