what benefit amounts are possible?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ClaudiaW, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. ClaudiaW

    ClaudiaW Newbie

    hi - I have read different things about the monthly benefit amount that a surviving spouse might be granted. I've read that someone on medicaid will receive only $90/month, but my mother does not receive medicaid and is not in a nursing home. Is it either $90/month or the full (highest) amount? Or is there a range of benefit amounts that might be granted depending on --what? expenses, need,living situation....?
    thank you!
  2. Red Headed Mommy

    Red Headed Mommy Jr. Member

    Hi ClaudiaW:
    Welcome to the world of learning...I am NOT an expert on this (Debbie, vetadmin--the founder of this awesome site is the best!) but I have successfully navigated the process for my father in law, and get excited to hear of others taking utilizing this site. I have spent HOURS on this...

    Currently (effective December 1, 2011), the MAXIMUM is $13,128 per year (or $1,094 per month ) for a surviving spouse of a qualified veteran. There is a range of benefits that may be awarded based on medical expenses. I am going to "cut and paste" some information on the forum to help you...This process is confusing to learn....

    Do NOT count their residence or vehicle when estimating net worth.

    Do NOT count a life insurance policy (because the policy holder must be
    deceased in order to benefit from it).

    DO count CDs, annuities, stocks, bonds, savings, checking, IRAs, Keogh,

    DO count any assets owned by the spouse as well.

    As a rule of thumb, assets should not exceed $80,000. That amount drops
    depending on the age of claimant.

    List below the estimated ANNUAL income of the veteran or surviving spouse:

    Estimate total income (If married include spousal income): ______

    All income must be included. This includes social security, pension,
    interest income, dividends, income from rental property, etc.

    If the veteran is married, then any spousal income must also be included.

    List all unreimbursed, recurring health care expenses:

    This includes:

    Assisted Living costs (per month): _________________

    Nursing Home costs (per month):________________

    Home Care service (per month):_______________

    Health Insurance premium (per month):_______________

    Medicare premium (per month):_________________

    Regular (unreimbursed) prescriptions
    (per month & verifiable through a pharmacy print-out): _____________

    TOTAL Expenses per month: __________
    (multiply x 12 to get total annual expenses)

    Subtract your total annual health care expenses from your total annual
    income and write the amount here: _____________. This is your "countable" income

    If your mother's countable income for VA purposes is ZERO and IF she is approved for a pension, she would then get the full amount.

    Anything above ZERO will result in a partial award.

    Hope this helps!
  3. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Red Headed Mommy,

    Thank you for jumping in here to help out. Greatly appreciated!
  4. ClaudiaW

    ClaudiaW Newbie

    Thank you both. This is a comprehensive answer to my question. :)
  5. leebiss

    leebiss Newbie

    My father-in-law, who is a WWII vet, has been totally blind for 8 years. His wife, who is also 94, has serious health problems also. She has just been released from the hospital with congestive heart failure, we we are in the process of applying for A&A.
    We have been paying $200 a month for housekeeping for them for years. Is that one of the expenses that could count to reduce countable income?
  6. Red Headed Mommy

    Red Headed Mommy Jr. Member

    My understanding is that general housekeeping services are NOT an acceptable medical costs. It needs to be costs associated with activities for daily living (even though I think having a clean house is vital to daily living :))

    These costs would include helping with bathing, dressing, etc. IRS publication 502 gives long lists of covered expenses...here is an excerpt:

    Qualified Long-Term Care Services

    Qualified long-term care services are necessary diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic, curing, treating, mitigating, rehabilitative services, and maintenance and personal care services (defined later) that are:

    Required by a chronically ill individual, and

    Provided pursuant to a plan of care prescribed by a licensed health care practitioner.

    Chronically ill individual. An individual is chronically ill if, within the previous 12 months, a licensed health care practitioner has certified that the individual meets either of the following descriptions.
    He or she is unable to perform at least two activities of daily living without substantial assistance from another individual for at least 90 days, due to a loss of functional capacity. Activities of daily living are eating, toileting, transferring, bathing, dressing, and continence.

    He or she requires substantial supervision to be protected from threats to health and safety due to severe cognitive impairment.

    Maintenance and personal care services. Maintenance or personal care services is care which has as its primary purpose the providing of a chronically ill individual with needed assistance with his or her disabilities (including protection from threats to health and safety due to severe cognitive impairment).

    I hope that helps!
  7. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Red Headed Mommy is right. "House keeping" in itself does not qualify as an allowable medical expense.

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