78022427The Department of Veterans Affairs runs the Veterans Improved Pension program, which pays a monthly benefit to eligible wartime Veterans or widows/widowers of Veterans. This program is for Veterans with non-service-connected disabilities needing long term care and is different from the Disability Compensation benefit available to Veterans with service-connected disabilities. Additional income to the basic benefit is allowed when there is a regular medical need for assistance or supervision due to a disability.

The pension benefits can make a significant difference in the ability of the Veteran or widow/widower to afford basic costs of living, in-home caregivers or to live in an assisted living facility of his or her choice. Planning for eligibility for these pension benefits is different from the planning often necessary for Medicaid eligibility. A major concern is, however, that a Veteran, or their surviving spouse, or agent acting under a Power of Attorney, may carry out transactions to be eligible for the VA pension program benefit that later will cause Medicaid ineligibility.

Because of the possibility of precluding later Medicaid eligibility, VA pension planning must be done with careful analysis of its implications for future Medicaid eligibility for the veteran or his or her spouse. Ms. Allen, who is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs, can assist Veterans and their families with eligibility planning.

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