As a VA Accredited elder law attorney I help clients navigate the long-term care cost maze that many times includes finding ways to pay for nursing home costs. Nursing homes in Michigan can easily run over $10,000 per month for your loved one. If your loved one is a veteran or surviving spouse of a veteran there may be veterans benefits to help pay this cost of care.
As one of the few Certified Elder Law Attorneys in Michigan, give our office a call if you have a loved one who needs help paying for nursing home costs. (248) 481-4000.
To qualify for the veterans benefit, sometimes called Aid & Attendance, in Michigan, a veteran or surviving spouse of a veteran must meet certain requirements.
1) The veteran must have served 90 days active duty,
2) The veteran must have served one day during a period of war,
3) Cannot be dishonorably discharged,
4) Paying more in long-term care costs then income coming in from social security or pension
5) Pass the resource test
If the veteran or surviving spouse meets all of the above requirements then they can qualify for over $2,000 per month, tax free, to pay their long-term care costs.
However, there are some things to keep in mind.
First, with the resource analysis, many times prior to coming into our office a family will be over the asset limit to qualify for the VA Benefit. In situations like this, typically we put together a Veterans Asset Protection Trust where the family can retain control of the assets, however still qualify for the VA Benefit under the resource test. Plus, this Veterans Asset Protection Trust helps the family also qualify for Medicaid if they should wish to bring in that governmental benefit as well.
Next, it is important to understand that your loved one needs to have long-term care costs that exceed their income. The veteran or surviving spouse needs a doctor to say that they need the assistance of daily living activities and that they are now willing to pay to receive that assistance.
Last, keep in mind that the veterans benefit maxes out at just over $2,000 per month. This benefit is great for paying for assisted living costs or home care costs, but when you’re paying over $10,000 per month in nursing home costs, Medicaid may be a better answer. Medicaid can pay almost the entire cost of nursing home care, minus the private pay.
Do you have veterans benefits or Medicaid questions? Call our office at (248) 481-4000 and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.
Christopher J. Berry is a Michigan elder law attorney Dedicated to helping seniors, veterans and their families navigate the long-term care maze. To learn more visit http://www.theeldercarefirm.com/ or call 248.481.4000