Are you receiving all the Veterans benefits you are entitled to as a former member of the U.S. military? While you may think you are, the reality is that you could be falling short of what you and your family deserve. This includes pension benefits and other long-term care coverage you might not know existed but could come in handy as you move forward with the rest of your life.
This is where we step in. If you served your country, let us serve you by ensuring you are aware of the VA benefits available to you.
Are You Eligible for Veterans Benefits?
Veterans who served during a period of war and cannot handle activities of daily living without the assistance of another from a cause not related to their military service may be eligible for pension benefits. Unlike compensation, pension benefits are awarded based both on the inability to handle activities of daily living and income as well as the Veteran’s net worth.
In many cases, a pension pays less for a total disability than the Veterans’ Compensation program pays. However, additional allowances known as Housebound and Aid and Attendance can increase the monthly pension amount paid.
While each benefit administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has its own unique eligibility requirements, some basic principles of eligibility and ineligibility are common to many VA benefits programs.
- A Veteran or the dependent or survivor of a Veteran can receive benefits — The VA’s definition of a Veteran requires that a person served in the military and that their service was considered active. In some cases, this may include members of the Armed Forces Reserves or National Guard who serve on active duty for federal purposes.
- Individuals with dishonorable discharges generally cannot receive benefits — Individuals with undesirable discharges and bad conduct discharges may or may not be eligible for VA benefits.
- With that said, individuals with honorable discharges and general discharges usually do qualify for benefits.
- Only Veterans with service during a period of war are eligible for non-service-connected disability pension benefits — Service in a combat zone is not required. The Veteran only had to serve during a time designated as a period of war as designated by Congress. A Veteran will have met the service requirements by serving 90 consecutive days (active duty), at least one day of which occurred during a period of war.
- Finally, a Veteran must need assistance with the activities of daily living to qualify for VA pension benefits.
Who Can You Seek Help From?
The only people authorized to provide a Veteran with assistance in filing a claim for Veterans benefits are:
- An accredited attorney.
- A Veterans service organization such as the VFW, American Legion, Amvets, etc.
- A state or county official of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Texas.
An attorney from our practice can assist you and your family by explaining many difficult-to-understand things about Veterans’ benefits, long-term care, and more. Qualification for a VA benefit is only one of several concerns that must be considered. As you struggle to provide dignified long-term care for a wartime veteran or surviving spouse, we can help you understand your options.
The legal, financial, and life-care planning issues confronting families of good people like you who are facing long-term care needs can be complex and overwhelming. This is why it is so important to put your trust in an estate planning and elder law firm that strongly emphasizes Veterans’ benefits and Medicaid planning.