Veterans’ Benefits Attorneys in Fullerton
Making Sure You Get the Benefits You Deserve in Fullerton, CA and Bellevue, WA
As a 12-year veteran of the Navy, our founder, Marty Burbank, feels very strongly about veterans’ issues. At OC Elder Law, we believe it is our responsibility to educate clients about an important benefit – called Aid and Attendance – that is available through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
You or your loved one may be eligible for this useful benefit, and our Fullerton and Bellevue veterans’ benefits attorneys can help determine if you qualify.
Aid & Attendance for Veteran Families
Aid and Attendance is an enhancement to the Veterans Pension program. This benefit can pay a veteran and a surviving spouse cash every month. The cash is tax-free and may be used in any way, including paying for long-term care in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or care at home.
The maximum benefits for 2020 are:
- $2,266 per month for a married veteran
- $1,912 per month for a single veteran
- $1,230 per month for a surviving spouse
However, before the veteran or surviving spouse receives any benefits, they must first meet the eligibility requirements outlined below.
Military Service Requirement
The veteran’s discharge must be anything other than dishonorable. Additionally, the veteran must have served 90 consecutive days.
One of those days must have been during one of the following times:
- World War I: April 6, 1917, through November 11, 1918
- World War II: December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946
- Korean War: June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955
- Vietnam War: August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975 (beginning time extended to February 28, 1961 for a veteran who served before August 5, 1964)
- Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990 through present
It is important to note that the veteran does not need to have been in combat – he or she only needs to have served for at least one day during the dates mentioned above.
Medical Need Requirement
The veteran or surviving spouse must have a medical need that requires the aid and attendance of another to perform activities of daily living. A doctor will need to certify that the veteran or surviving spouse does, in fact, need someone else’s assistance.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) calculates income in an odd way. First, the VA will consider all your income. It will then subtract any unreimbursed medical expenses from your income.
Unreimbursed medical expenses can include but are not limited to:
- In-home caregiving expenses
- Assisted living expenses
- Insurance premiums
- Paying an adult child to be a caregiver
The veteran will receive the maximum benefit amount if the medical expenses exceed 105% of income; otherwise, a smaller amount will be granted. Every veteran’s situation is different, so a detailed analysis necessary to determine income qualifications.
The VA also considers the veteran’s or the surviving spouse’s assets to determine the need for this cash benefit. Assets include all bank accounts, brokerage accounts, etc. However, the asset limitation does not include the veteran’s or the surviving spouse’s primary residence.
The VA eligibility worker has broad discretion in determining the asset requirement for each case. However, $80,000 and below seems to be the amount that the eligibility worker has discretion over to approve an application. An application with more than $80,000 in assets is likely to be reviewed by the VA eligibility reviewer’s supervisor for approval.
If the Veteran or Surviving Spouse Does Not Qualify
If the veteran or surviving spouse does not currently qualify for Veterans Pension with Aid and Attendance due to the income or asset requirement, OC Elder Law can help. There are proven strategies we can implement to qualify and obtain these cash benefits on your behalf. Let our skilled Fullerton and Bellevue veterans’ benefits attorneys navigate you through this process and give you peace of mind.
If the Veteran or Surviving Spouse Already Qualifies
If you already qualify, there is no need to pay anyone for the application. In fact, it is illegal for anyone to charge for the application.
Discuss Your Case with OC Elder Law
Our firm was founded by Marty Burbank, a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Navy. Given our strong commitment to veterans and veteran issues, you can be assured that the attorneys at OC Elder Law will take great care of you and your case.
With three locations in Southern California and a willingness to fly to meet you wherever you are located, we serve clients throughout California.
If you have any questions about your veteran benefits, call (888) 493-5088 today.