What Types of Senior Care is Available for Veterans?

What Types of Senior Care is Available for Veterans?     The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers some funding programs that can help offset the cost of some types of senior care.

U.S. News & World Report’s recent article, “Veteran Benefits for Assisted Living,” explains that many senior living companies try to help many veterans maximize their benefits, which in some cases can significantly reduce the cost of senior living.

Note that the VA won’t pay for a veteran’s rent in an assisted living facility. However, VA benefits may pay for some of the extra services required, like nursing assistance, help with bathing and toileting, and possibly meals.

There are a variety of benefits that may help, based on a vet’s specific service history and eligibility. The most commonly used benefits are the Aid & Attendance Pension. Another common benefit is the Survivor’s Pension for spouses of a deceased veteran with wartime service.

The VA’s Aid & Attendance and Housebound program is part of the pension benefits paid to veterans and survivors. The VA says these benefits are paid, in addition to monthly pension. A vet must satisfy one of the potential conditions, including:

  • Requiring the aid of another person to perform personal functions, like bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, or staying safe from hazards;
  • Being disabled and bedridden, above what would be thought of as recovery from a course of treatment, such as surgery;
  • Being a patient in a nursing home due to physical or mental incapacity; and
  • Having very poor eyesight (5/200 corrected visual acuity or less in both eyes) or a field of vision limited to five degrees or less.

Vets may qualify for these benefits, which are added to the standard monthly pension, when he or she is “substantially confined to your immediate premises because of permanent disability,” the VA says. Eligibility for the program is based on a case by case basis and involves a review by the VA.

It’s important to begin the application process early, rather than waiting for a crisis to occur. Ask an experienced estate planning or elder law attorney to help you and to discuss your options.

It is our goal to provide our clients with the highest level of legal services in the areas of Last Will and Testaments, Living Trust, Irrevocable Trusts, Estate Planning, Asset Protection, and complete Business Planning. If you or someone you know needs information on Florida estate planning, please contact us today at 239-418-0169 to schedule your free consultation.

Reference: U.S. News & World Report (August 12, 2019) “Veteran Benefits for Assisted Living”

 

How Should Military Families Plan Their Estates?

How Should Military Families Plan Their Estates? About 50% of service members are under the age of 25, and most are married with children. They don’t get paid very much, and they have to deploy repeatedly to hot spots, where their lives are on the line. Do you need to have a conversation with an Estate Planning Attorney?

A recent CNBC article, “For military families living on the financial edge, money matters are complicated,” explains that setting up a new household in a new location can be difficult, even more so overseas. All those moves make it tough for military spouses to obtain and retain a job. Those spouses, who find it necessary to work to cover expenses, must deal with bosses who understand they might move to a new location tomorrow, which can mean the employer is hesitant to hire them at all.

A big benefit is that the military members receive housing and food allowances and health-care coverage. They may get health care on base, or they may go to use local doctors and health-care facilities. This can all change each time a military family moves, and they do move frequently.

Here’s what they need to do to stay financially ready for both the military life and after they leave.

First, they need to establish an emergency fund. A service member isn’t getting laid off, so three months of expenses is a good target. However, they do live on the financial edge and getting into debt could happen easily.

It’s important that service members stay out of serious debt. It can spell trouble in their careers. Service members with significant debt are considered vulnerable security risks. If their position involves security risk and they lose it because of a financial issue, their careers can be over. Fast.

It’s critical for those in the military to start on their retirement savings as early as possible, like with the Thrift Savings Plan, which is the federal government’s version of a 401(k). Uncle Sam will match up of 5% of their savings. The current military retirement system is what’s called a “defined retirement system.” This means that you get a set retirement, based on the number of years you’re on active duty. There are currently three existing retirement systems, depending on when you entered the service.

Service members need insurance coverage. Service members’ Group Life Insurance is low-cost term insurance for members of the uniformed services. It’s a group life insurance policy purchased by the Department of Veterans Affairs from a life insurance company.

It’s also extremely important to have an estate plan. The Staff Judge Advocate General’s Office provides the basics for free. That includes a will, power of attorney, health-care proxy and may include other documents, depending upon the individual service person’s situation.

Estate planning concerns making decisions about how property will be used, maintained and distributed, if you become incapacitated or die.

Reference: CNBC (May 23, 2019) “For military families living on the financial edge, money matters are complicated”