VA Benefits for Long-Term Care Dead in Michigan?

Not quite yet, but there is a new proposed rule that may be coming down the pike.newvabenefitsrules

New Proposed Rule for VA Benefit Planning for Long-term Care

On January 23rd, the Federal Register released Document No. 2015-00297. So, what does that mean?  You haven’t read it?  I don’t blame you.  However, if you’re involved in the elder care or long-term care community in Michigan you might want to check it out.

The document is an unexpected rule proposal by the VA regarding net worth determinations, asset transfers and income exclusions for VA pension eligibility (Aid and Attendance).

It’s a 62 page document, but basically, the VA has stated that it was their intent to “respond to recent recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to maintain the integrity of VA’s needs based benefit programs and to clarify issues necessary for consistent administration of pension claims.

The New Rules for VA Benefit Planning?

The proposal will establish clear net worth asset limits, linking it to Medicaid type resource allowances. For example, the Community Spousal Resource Allowance used by Medicaid of $119,220. Net worth will be a combination of assets and income with a proposed 36 month look-back period.

The 36 month look back period differs from the Medicaid 60 month look back period.  One key point is how the divestment penalty will work for the VA look back period.  Under the proposed VA look-back rules, there is the possibility of a 10 year look back period.  It’s calculated by looking at the amount transfered and dividing by the maximum monthly pension rate for a veteran or surviving spouse.

What’s Next for VA Aid and Attendance Long-term Care Planning?

The most important thing is that if you have a veteran or surviving spouse of a veteran who needs care, you start the planning process now, before this rule gets imposed–if it does.

Who does the hurt?  Veterans and surviving spouses of veterans who need long-term care.

In the meantime, I’ll stay on this as this could be a huge change in how we plan for long-term care.

Do you have questions—I’ll answer them in the comments below.

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