FAQ Elder Law Attorney – Part II


What long-term care benefits are available to veterans and their surviving spouses? Long-term care costs can add up quickly. For veterans and surviving spouses of veterans who need at-home care or nursing facility or nursing home, help is available. The Veterans Administration has underutilized amount of pension benefit called Aid and Attendance that provides funds to those who need help performing everyday tasks. Even veterans whose income is over the legal limit for VA pension may qualify for aid and attendance benefit if they have large medical expenses that they do not get a refund.

Aid and Attendance is a pension benefit, which means that it is available to veterans who served at least 90 days, with at least one day of war. The veteran does not have a service-related disability to qualify. Veterans or surviving spouses are eligible if they require assistance of another person to perform everyday action, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, or go to the bathroom. This includes individuals who are bedridden, blind or residing in assisted living facility or nursing home.

To qualify a veteran must have less than $ 80,000 in assets, excluding home and car. In addition, veteran income will be less than the maximum annual fee of pensions, as one veteran is $ 19,736; $ 23,396 for a veteran with one dependent; $ 12,681 for a surviving spouse; and $ 15,128 for a surviving spouse with one dependent.

income does not include welfare benefits or Supplemental Security Income. It also does not include unreimbursed medical expenses actually paid by the veteran or his or her family. This may include Medicare, Medigap or Medicare supplement plans and long-term care insurance premiums; over-the-counter medications taken at the recommendation physician; long-term care costs, such as assisted living or nursing home charges; the cost of in-home attendant provides some medical or nursing services; and the cost of assisted living facility. These fees must be unreimbursed, in other words, the insurance may not pay the cost. Cost should also be repeated, which means that they should take place every month.

How does the Aid and Attendance benefit work? Let me give you an example. The amount a person receives depends on their income. The VA pays the difference between income and veteran Maximum Annual pension. John, one elder, income from social security of $ 16,500 a year pension and $ 12,000 per year, so his total income is $ 28,500 a year. He pays $ 20,000 a year for home health care, $ 1,156.80 per year for Medicare and $ 1,788 a year for supplemental insurance, and total medical expenses and his $ 22,944.80. Pulling his medical expenses from their income, $ 28.500 – $ 22,944.80, John countable income is $ 5,555.20. John could qualify for $ 14,180.80, which is $ 19,736 -. $ 5,555.20 in assistance and care benefits

What are the benefits of pre-planning funeral plans? Most people avoid planning for their funerals and instead make decisions for their loved ones. Unfortunately, because of the emotional duress, to wait to decide until just after the death can be unnecessarily expensive. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer guide to funerals, funeral and burial costs can easily exceed $ 10,000.

Most consumers have no problem Haggling over the price of a new car, but never think to negotiate the price of the funeral. Mix the problem is the feeling that the price being is reflective of their feelings for the deceased. To help resolve these issues, a growing number of people are planning their own funerals them. It is important to research options and do not let yourself be pressured into buying a product or service that you do not want. You must learn to be an informed consumer.

Shopping around for funeral services can save you thousands of dollars. Do not assume that the funeral will cost the same, no matter where you go. By federal law gives the funeral to give consumers a price list of all goods and services. Usually included would be the cost for the first conference, consultation, paperwork and costs. This is known as the basic fee and are added to the cost of the funeral. There is considerable variation in pricing of basic services fee. Fees shall include costs for the transportation of the body, care of the body, including lubrication, and the use of the funeral home to view, Wake, Visitation and funeral or memorial ceremony. It should also include other measures such as cremation and optional services such as flowers, use a limousine and chest. It is recommended that you obtain price lists from at least three funeral homes before selection.

You may want to make arrangements in advance, but did not pay for those services. Keep in mind that prices will change over time. You can make your wishes known by writing it down and with it in your letter of instructions. Remember to give copies to your family and your lawyer, as well as keep a copy in a convenient and accessible location.

Make sure the funeral home is licensed and has a good reputation in the community. National Association funeral director suggests that you call and speak to the funeral director to determine their professionalism and to make sure you are happy with them.


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