It’s estimated that there are currently over 25 million people eligible for some form of Veteran’s benefits. However, if you or your spouse is a qualifying veteran, you may not be aware of an additional pension benefit to offer help with specific medical expenses – the Aid and Attendance Pension provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This benefit can be a critical factor to consider for wealth management and retirement planning—and it is largely unknown.
The Aid and Attendance Pension is a special pension benefit that is added to the monthly pension amount for qualifying veterans, veteran’s spouses, or widows of veterans that helps with medical expenses that require some form of aid and attendance. It is not dependent on service-related injuries for compensation—and so can cover expenses in the form of in-home, assisted living or nursing care during the latter years. It is also available not only for a veteran but his/her surviving spouse. The pension is offered to honorably discharged veterans who have 90 or more days of active duty with one day of service during a War Period—or their surviving spouses at the time of the veteran’s death. The widow or widower must have not remarried in order to qualify for benefits.
Benefits are based on certain assets and income limitations, as well as medical needs. The veteran and their spouse cannot have over $80,000 of qualified assets (does not include home, auto and life insurance and other assets). In order to qualify, you may want to consider reducing your assets, increasing expenses, or reducing income in order to meet the requirements set forth by the VA. The amount of additional pension can be significant: up to $1,758 per month for a veteran, $1,130 per month to a surviving spouse, and $2,085 per month for a couple.
Why would you want to see if you qualify for this little-known additional pension benefit from the VA? The benefit can help significantly defray the costs of medical expenses during retirement that will allow you to maintain your standard of living and improve your quality of life. It also reduces the consumption of your own wealth to pay for specific retirement needs that require in-home, assisted living or nursing care. And, it is an income source that is immune to changes in tax law. However, you must meet strict requirements set forth by the VA. To see if you qualify, or how you can qualify, contact a Richard Brothers financial advisor today. Contact us now.
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