Age of the Veteran

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kssstewart, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. kssstewart

    kssstewart Newbie

    I have read in several places that "As a rule of thumb, assets should not exceed $80,000. That amount drops
    depending on the age of claimant."

    My Dad, for whom I am about to first apply for the Aid & Attendance program, is 93 years old and has neither applied for nor received any previous VA benefits. His and my Mom's joint assets are right at $80,000. After his assisted living and medical expenses, his countable income will be negative so this should not be an eligibility problem. However, since Dad is 93, does that mean the VA likely would deny his A&A claim or would his benefit be reduced or prorated down? Would his assets need to be lower to get a full benefit? Thanks for anyone's experience with the amount of expected benefit for an older veteran.
     
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    If after backing out all his medical he is at zero or in the negative, his "countable" income should be fine.

    When you file the application, you need to write a letter stating his advanced age and asking for expedited processing to be included with the application packet.

    The VA is "supposed" to give priority to any veteran over 70, but they rarely do it these days in favor of more recent conflict applications.

    You need to get this right from the get-go, and make sure you send it to the proper pension center for his state.
     
  3. kssstewart

    kssstewart Newbie

    Thanks Debbie. Your site is exceptional and we all are grateful.

    My question relates to the phrase "...the amount drops depending on the age of the claimant". Will Dad's age require that his assets would need to be only, say $40,000 to get a benefit as his life expectancy may be less? His income is far below what his assisted living expenses are so he will be in a negative income situation from day one. Thansk for your comments.
     
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    The medical expenses will be primary if he is at zero or negative at the end of the month. Do a search here on the forums for "countable income" look for the post that has the formula to arrive at that figure.

    You don't mention your mom's situation. Does she also require any type of care and what is her age?

    Thank you for your kind words.
     
  5. kjhinshaw

    kjhinshaw Newbie

    I have this same question, and so far not a clear answer. Did you ever find out any more on the net worth limit?

    When I read something on the VA website it stated "There is no set limit on how much net worth a veteran and his dependents can have, but net worth cannot be excessive. The decesion as to whether a claimant's net wort is excessive depends on the facts of each individual case. All net worth should be reported and VA will determine if a claimant's assets are sufficiently large that the claimant could live off of these assets for a reasonable period of time."
     
  6. Max

    Max Hero Member

    Hi Kjhinshaw,

    There is no asset limit in general. Essentially, VA would look at the $80,000 he has in the bank, then look at how much his expenses exceed his income to find out how long his assets would last without VA benefits. If his assets would not last him for the rest of his expected lifetime, his net worth will likely not be a bar to benefits. This is why some people with assets of $50,000 are denied while others with assets of $120,000 can be approved. The formula looks at each criteria as part of the overall decision.

    So the short answer would be that, yes, because he is older, his net worth is more likely to be an issue. That being said, without knowing exactly what his net income is for the month, I wouldn't be able to tell you with any degree of certainty.
     
  7. kjhinshaw

    kjhinshaw Newbie

    Thanks for your reply. It for my mom. My dad is the Vet. She's 88 and had about $120,000. in assets and abot $4500 in monthly out go. I'm going to apply, but assume we'll get denied the first time around.
     
  8. poseypatch

    poseypatch Newbie

    Sorry to hijack this conversation but my 85 y.o. mother is in almost the same place. She has assets of $125,000 (not including her car and home.... total on those is about $100,000). Her net yearly income when she goes to assisted living will be aprrox negative $2,300/mo or $27,600 per year.

    I was just told today that I should wait until her assets reach $80,000... the woman suggested spending down to get to that point (prepay funeral expenses, prepay assisted living, etc.) I'm thinking if we sell her house and car that will only add to the time it will take to spend down. She said if we were to set up a trust.... Medicaid will look back 5 years, so that is not really a wise thing to do.

    I'm at a quandry over what to do....
     
  9. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    If you apply now and she is denied due to excessive net worth, you can come back later by submitting a 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim updating her new financial status for reconsideration.

    You need to bear in mind that the VA takes a very hard line on the fact they are not in the business of protecting assets. This pension is for those who otherwise financially would not be able to afford proper care and services and is needs based.
     
  10. poseypatch

    poseypatch Newbie

    In my case, I really wouldn't expect the benefit to trigger until needed. I suppose it would be too much to ask.... prior approval so that you can have some comfort in knowing it will be there when needed. At over $4,000 per month for assisted living, I'm not sure her net worth will outlast her.

    Getting old $ucks.
     
  11. Max

    Max Hero Member

    Also, VA will consider the value of a trust as net worth anyway (even if the claimant doesn't have direct access to it).
     
  12. Max

    Max Hero Member

    Well this is exactly what VA looks at. If it looks like the claimant's net worth will not last for the rest of his/her life, they will grant every time. Also, there's no harm in reapplying every 6 months or so. Its free and easy to reapply, just turn in a new 4138 and 8049.
     

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