925.244.1185
San Ramon, CA

Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Veterans' Benefits for Seniors Expected to Be Reduced in 2017

It looks like budgets are going to be shrinking in 2017, as both Social Security and Veterans benefits are slated to become scarce. Due to a 1983 agreement between President Ronald Reagan and a Democratic-led Congress, Social Security Benefits will be cut, just as the age of retirement is raised to 67.  The cash deficit for Social Security is expected to rise from $74 billion to $361 billion by 2025.

Meanwhile, more seniors may be looking at reduced incomes as Veterans’ benefits become harder to qualify for in 2017. According to the Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension program, in order to qualify under these new standards, veterans and their spouses must have:

  • $80,000 or less in assets
  • been honorably discharged
  • served 90 consecutive days, at least one of which must have been during an approved period of war.

The asset requirement allows for one home and one vehicle, over and above the $80,000 cap.

These new requirements may affect those already entitled to funds.

What services exist for aging veterans?

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers programs aimed at providing medical, financial and other assistance to veterans. These programs include:

  • Disability Compensation
  • Pension Programs
  • Low Cost Medical Care
  • Educational Programs
  • Housing and home loan guarantees
  • Counseling
  • Burial and memorial funding
  • PTSD support

If you are a veteran with a disability caused while on active duty or made worse by active military duty, you may be eligible for up to $3,300 per month in benefits. If you are permanently and totally disabled, or are aged 65 or older, you may qualify to receive pension benefits, if you meet the eligibility criteria.

If you are receiving a pension through Veterans’ Benefits, you may also receive Aid and Attendance Benefits or Housebound Veterans’ benefits, which pay for certain levels of in-home or institutionalized care.

Eligible veterans are also entitled to hospital and outpatient care services that are deemed “needed.” According to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, needed simply means a care or service that will promote, preserve and restore health. This determination of need is made by your health care provider.  Specific treatments can include:

  • HIV/AIDS treatment
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Radiation Exposure
  • Blindness Rehabilitation
  • Gulf War Syndrome
  • Agent Orange Exposure

The law also mandates that free Military Funeral Honors be given to eligible veterans, which includes an honor guard detail, folding and presentation of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps. If eligible, the family of a deceased veteran may be entitled to burial expenses in an amount that depends on whether or not it was a service-related death and if the veteran was hospitalized.

The application process for any of these benefits can be arduous and time consuming to complete. Having an experienced Veterans’ Benefits attorney on your side can be of tremendous help.

Bewildered by Veterans’ Benefits?

Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning has helped hundreds of clients and their families navigate their Veterans’ Benefits in planning for retirement. You don’t have to take this journey alone.  Call today at 925-224-1185 to schedule a consultation.


Archived Posts

2019
2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2016
2015



© 2019 Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning, Inc. | Disclaimer
2333 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Ste. 145, San Ramon, CA 94583
| Phone: (925) 244-1185

Elder Law | Estate Planning | About

Law Firm Website Design by
Amicus Creative