The Department of Veterans Affairs is proposing changing eligibility rules for VA Aid and Attendance Benefits. Specifically, it is proposing an asset limit, a look-back period and asset transfer penalties for applicants applying for pensions, like the Aid and Attendance benefit. Currently, there is no prohibition on transferring assets prior to applying for benefits.
The proposed rule would create a 36-month look-back period and a penalty period of up to 10 years. The penalty period would be calculated based on total assets transferring during the look-back period exceeding the new asset limit. The asset limit would be equal to the Medicaid’s maximum Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA), currently $119,220.
The applicant’s assets would be calculated by adding annual income to assets. A primary residence, including a lot not to exceed two acres, would be exempt. Similar legislation was introduced in Congress two years ago.
Veteran’s eligible for pension benefits, like Aid and Attendance, should consult a Cleveland elder law attorney prior to making any transfers of assets and to keep abreast of changes in the law.