The VA Aid and Attendance Benefit, otherwise known as the non-service connected pension is soon to be changing in how you can qualify. In the past a Michigan veteran could be over the asset limit and still qualify for the VA Benefit by setting up a Veterans Asset Protection Trust, moving the overage of assets into the trust then submitting an application. However, the VA had proposed a rule change that would have a Three Year Look-back period on veterans or surviving spouses moving assets out of their name.
The new rule change was set to be enacted in February of 2016, however it looks to be pushed back to later in spring according to recent VA Benefit gossip.
Nothing is for sure, but that’s the latest on the buzz about the new look-back period for the VA Benefit.
What Does the 3 Year Look-Back Period Mean for Veterans or Surviving Spouses of Veterans?
With the 3 year look back for veterans and surviving spouses of veterans, it means that families looking to get qualified for the VA Benefit will now have to a better job of planning ahead and contact their VA Accredited Certified Elder Law Attorney sooner to begin planning. Crisis planning (planning when a loved one already needs care) will become more difficult and there will be a greater emphasis on planning ahead.
The planning we do as Michigan elder law attorneys for clients who need Medicaid may resemble the planning we’ll need to do for clients who are looking to qualify for the VA Benefit. However, much is unknown since the final rules haven’t been published yet. The proposed rule left some gaps and that is why I think the VA is taking their time with the implementation of the three year look back on asset transfers.
For example, one of the issues that was unclear from the proposed rules was whether they would grandfather in any prior planning or would the three year look-back period apply immediately.
Still lots of questions to be answered.