How much do you and your loved ones know about VA pension?
This is a non-service connected VA pension and is available each month to a permanent and totally disabled veteran when the veteran is 65 years of age or older, honorably discharged after at least 90 days of active duty with one day being during wartime, and experiencing financial need.
There is no requirement that the veteran over age 65 prove that he or she is actually disabled. It is presumed that because the age of the veteran is over 65 that the veteran is disabled. A veteran who is younger than age 65, however, must demonstrate that he or she is permanently and totally disabled in order to receive this financial assistance. This disability for a person under age 65 must be an impairment that renders it impossible for the average person to follow a substantially gainful occupation. This impairment must be one that is reasonably certain to continue throughout life
There are three types of monthly non-service connected pensions that are paid by the Veterans Administration to offset the cost of necessary health care. They are called:
- Low Income Pension,
- Housebound Benefits, and
- Aid and Attendance benefits.
There may be an extra benefit amount if the claimant is “permanently housebound.” This is demonstrated by the person being substantially confined to his or her dwelling and that this condition will continue throughout his or her lifetime.
Once the disability and wartime service test is met, the veteran must meet a three part means test qualification before receiving a VA pension. First, the payments to the potential claimant, his or her spouse, and dependent children from all sources are considered. This includes recurring income such as social security and pensions, as well as irregular income for the next twelve months.
The unreimbursed medical expenses are then excluded from income. Unreimbursed medical expenses include but are not limited to Medicare Part B premiums, Medigap premiums, Medicare Part D premiums, and prescription drug payments as well as caregiver expenses or recurring assisted living expenses. The gross income less the unreimbursed medical expenses will determine the claimant’s Income for VA Purposes (IVAP). The goal is for the IVAP to be $0. This is because there is a reduction against the Monthly Maximum Pension Rate (the income limit) for every dollar of IVAP.
We know the ins and outs of VA Pension can be confusing. Do not wait to schedule a meeting with attorney Beth Prather to ask your questions and address your concerns.