Who qualifies for Veterans Disability Benefits in Nassau County, Suffolk County, and New York City, NY?
The VA refers to disability benefits as “compensation.” Disability compensation is for those veterans with a service-related disability or illness. There are no limitations on the amount of income or assets you are allowed to keep.
What is Veteran Aid and Attendance?
Another type of monthly benefit is available, referred to as a “pension.” The pension is generally not related to a service-connected injury or illness.
Aid and Attendance is the most common pension benefit offered through the VA. A pension benefit may be paid monthly to help cover a veteran’s caregiving costs for assistance with dressing, toileting, and ambulating. However, strict income and asset limitations apply to veterans and their spouses.
Home Care benefits can be approved as Aid and Attendance even when provided by the veteran’s family member or spouse.
This benefit is income tax free and helps offset the cost of home care, unreimbursed medical expenses, and assisted living facility expenses.
Which Veteran’s may qualify?
Pension benefits available to veterans of:
- World War I – April 6, 1917, to April 1, 1918*
- World War II – December 7, 1941, to December 31, 1946
- Korean War – June 27, 1950, to January 31, 1955
- Vietnam War – August 5, 1964, to May 7, 1975**
- Persian Gulf War – August 2, 1990, to (TBD)
*If the veteran served with the United States military forces in Russia, the ending date is April 1, 1920.
**The period is February 28, 1961, to May 7, 1975, if the veteran served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period.
You did not have to be in a war zone. The time of your service is what counts, and you must not have been dishonorably discharged.
Are there Benefits available for the Surviving Spouse of a Veteran?
Yes. The surviving spouse must be over 65 or totally disabled and meet the financial requirements for the pension benefit.
VA Planning for Pension Eligibility
Pension benefits have asset and income limits. Planning for eligibility is essential for New York veterans. There are planning strategies to help qualify them (or a surviving spouse) for benefits. This planning must be accomplished before applying for a pension benefit.
Understanding Veteran Aid & Attendance
Long-term care, whether at home, in a nursing home, or assisted living facility, can be very costly. Many veterans and their families are unaware of the benefits they are entitled to through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Aid and Attendance is probably the most common pension benefit offered through the VA. It may be available to the veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran in New York.
To be eligible to receive an Aid and Attendance pension, the veteran must meet the following requirements:
- The veteran’s annual family net income meets the limits set by law.
- They can’t have excessive net worth (assets minus debts). The net worth of veterans and their dependents must be less than $150,538 in 2023. Countable assets don’t include a primary residence or car.
- They must be disabled. For VA pension purposes, disability means they require assistance with the activities of daily living (bathing, feeding, dressing, etc.) or are housebound. The disability doesn’t have to be related to military service.
- A physician must document the need for caregiver services. Typically, a veteran receives care in an assisted living facility or non-medical home care services.
- The veteran must have had at least 90 days of active military service and at least one day served during official wartime. To have served during wartime, the veteran didn’t need to see combat or leave the country.
- The veteran’s discharge must be other than dishonorable.
Veterans’ Application Process in Nassau County, Suffolk County, and New York City, NY
The application process for Aid and Attendance benefits is extensive, and applicants have many questions while filling it out. An attorney is optional, but many seek assistance to avoid mistakes that cause denial, appeal, and delayed benefits.
Benefits of Aid and Attendance
Through Aid and Attendance, a single veteran could be eligible to receive up to $2,229 per month, a married veteran up to $2,634 per month, and a surviving spouse of a veteran could receive up to $1,432.
Russo Law Group, P.C. helps you and your loved ones handle Estate Planning, Elder Law, Special Needs Planning, New York Medicaid Planning, Trust & Estate, Guardianship, Small Business Planning, and Real Estate law. We welcome you to contact our Garden City, Lido Beach, or Islandia, New York, law offices to learn more about how we can help address your veteran planning needs.
If you have questions or concerns about veteran benefits issues in Long Island and New York City communities, please don’t hesitate to contact the veteran benefits attorneys with Russo Law Group, P.C. While we have several office locations, we can also visit your home and offer virtual meetings for convenience.