If someone in active military service is injured or becomes ill, or has some prior injury or illness exacerbated by their service, and later in life it results in a disability, then they’re entitled to compensation. Elder law attorney Jim Koewler joins Suzanne to talk about the benefits of this federal program run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Compensation is available to certain veterans and certain surviving veteran family members. VA has a program Congress called Pension, in which a veteran or spouse qualifies, for serving in the military during a time of war, and who now need more health services than they can afford, if you qualify for Pension and you also need help with Activities of Daily Living, they can get Aid & Attendance on top of Pension. If you get Compensation, and also need help with Activities of Daily Living, you can also get Aid & Attendance on top of Compensation.
This is a disability program, not limited to people who served during a time of war the way that VA Pension is. Medical and personnel records are very important to show the disability occurring now is connected to something that goes back to their time in the military.
Before going into further details, Jim revisits some items he discussed about Pension in earlier podcasts, in particular accreditation and discharge papers. You’ll want to request a copy of the discharge papers that the VA will see. For people have a dishonorable discharge, they may be able to get it changed.
You can see slides from this presentation on the YouTube video. Learn more at http://www.protectingseniors.com or email Jim at [email protected].
View Episode Transcript
*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is by Mr Jim Koewler, elder law and special needs attorney, helping and protecting those who need long term care. And welcome everyone to answers for elder’s radio network. And we are here again talking about a very important topic for everyone, Um, for those that have served in the military service. We’ve talked somewhat about veterans aid and attendance benefits, but here’s the thing. If someone is disabled due to their service in the military, their injury or something like that, there’s what we call Um compensation for for veterans that are is available and it’s available over and above aiden attendance benefits. And we are here. You can’t get both. Okay, you can’t get both. Well, there we go, and let’s clarify. If you can get pension or compensation. You can’t get both. Aid and attendance is an add on to both pension and a compensation. If you got it, got it? Okay? Well, Jim Taylor, Um our special guest attorney at law elder law, attorney works with veterans all across the state of Ohio. But also, because we’re talking about veterans compensation, anything that has to do with the Veterans Administration. This is a federal program and so it is absolutely applicable throughout the United States. And Jim Taylor, welcome back to the program. We’re always glad to have you clarify some of these things. Thanks to Zanne. Good to be here yes, so tell us a little bit. Okay, I am so glad that you talked a little bit about Um, you know, clarified me up front, so you can tell right now that I am like totally blind because I’ve never been through this piece before. So people have yeah, could you give us kind of an overview of what our topics going to be? The Seller? Okay, WE’RE gonna be talking about the Veterans Administration. Are Actually now it’s department of Veterans Affairs, but most people, most people still call it the V A veteran’s administration or Veterans Affairs Compensation Program that a compensation is, uh, something that is available to a veteran and, under certain circumstances, to veterans Um surviving family members. But we’ll get to that. But it starts with the veteran being injured or becoming ill or having some prior injury, unless exacerbated during the time in the service. So something happened to the veteran during his or her time in the service and later in life it results in a disability. Now for the for family members, if, if someone who’s dies in the military, then this is available to them. But there’s also some other circumstances. So yes, I guess death is an exaggerated version of a disability. I hate to say that because death is so horrible, but it does trigger the same benefit. Here’s why I clarified earlier that we aren’t, uh that we didn’t previously talk about eight in attendance by itself. Okay, V A has a program that Congress called pension. And with pension, if if a veteran or surviving spouse qualifies for pension and you don’t do twenty years, uh, two years post Vietnam. Uh, only ninety days preview up up through Vietnam of active service. Okay, so it’s not. This is different than being a lifer and getting a pension from the federal government like the e P A and the I R S retirees do. Okay, that’s a different animal. I wish Congress have done that, but they did. Thank you, Congress. Yeah, but with pension. Remember, pension is for people who have served in the military during a time of war and who now need more health services than they can afford. and Um. But it’s called pension again, content your congress. Um. But if you if someone qualifies for Pension and also needs help with activities of daily living, they can get aid in attendance on top of pension. So that’s why most people out of the long term care world referred to it as aid in attendance because that’s the level that they want. It’s the most money. But you don’t get eight in attendance about first getting pension. But I clarified that in particular, because if someone gets compensation and needs help with actors the data living, they can also get aid in attendance on top of compensation. So even attendance is an add on to these two very benefits. Total sense now. Yeah, so that’s why I get fussy about my about the terminology, and you need to yeah, and if I talk to someone in the Veteran Service Commission here in Ohio, and I’m hoping most of the states have a similar animal Um, they’re very fussy about it too. They don’t let people get away calling pension aid in attendance. Pension is a special monthly compensation as long as you qualified for something else. Again, compensation used in two contexts different animals. So you’re very careful with those. Um, we ran out of terms. We put to many programs here. So compensation is for someone who is disabled or family members of someone who has died um because of something that happened in the military or because of something that was exacerbated while they were in the military. And maybe he had a bum maybe he had a little bit of any problem didn’t keep them out of the military, but something happened during the time of the military that made the knee problem worse. They’re still eligible for compensation. Okay. So this is a disability program it is not limited to people who served during a time of war and the way that pension was can be any time in the military. Okay, and it so the the medical records here and the personnel records, beyond the need to four team, beyond the discharge papers. Okay, medical records and personnel records are very important here to show that the disability occurring now is connected to something that goes back to the time in the military. So it is frequently called service connected compensation and that’s why pension is often called non service connected pension. The health issues that create the need for pension, whatever caused your health costs eligibility does not have to be connected your time and military. You simply have to have served here. Whatever is disabling condition now has to be connected to something that happened military. Therefore it is a service connected compensation program sure. Now I know we’re going to be going over more than one UH session here, so before we get too far into compensation itself, I want to revisit some things we’ve talked about with pension because they will be very important in someone seeking a pension plan. Thanks for those of you that are listening on the radio and we will have this on our Youtube Channel on answers for elders, so you certainly will be able to Um follow along with this amazing presentation that Jim has and Jim take it away. So our first topic is accreditation. Accreditation is not for the applicant. Accreditation is if they are seeking help from someone like an odle law attorney or uh, someone in a county office like Ohio’s Veteran Service Commission. That person has to be accredited. Now, if they’re getting help from their cousin and this is the only time the cousin is gonna be doing this, okay, cousin, aunt, uncle, best friend, drinking buddy, whatever. If it’s a one off, that person does not needing to be accredited. But if this is gonna be more than one time, Allah, Elder Law Attorneys, Um or county veteran service officers, they need to be accredited. accredited is them getting telling the V A I want to help people with veterans benefits, I’m gonna get your training that’s required. I’m gonna Register. So make sure you’re talking to someone who is accredited. If they’re helping you with benefits and this is not the first time they’ve done it or they’re going to be doing a second time, you make darn sure they’re accredited, because won’t come back on you as the applicant, but they’ll get in trouble and it will also let them know you know what’s going on so they’re not to try to hoodwink you because you know something about the v a crow and I’ve heard store nightmare stories of friends and family saying I’m going to help with this application and then if there’s one thing that’s not checked off correctly, it can take months for it to to Um. I mean, is that still the case, Jim? Yes, it is. That is definitely still the case, and maybe in some future session we can talk about actual processing of claims and therefore the preparation of claims. But yeah, one thing missing and you go from a quick turnaround too slow as molasses. But I’ve also as that. Yeah, but I also know that a veteran service commission can make the same screw up. I had a potential client called me. They ended up not hiring me. Yet they may change their minds to appeal. I uh, an application for mother for pension benefits where she should have qualified, but the veteran service commission said too much and open the whole can of worms. I’m not saying they were going to withhold information. They withholding information that was more than five years old. Wow, and but they included it. And then so the the the the pension office says, Oh, you’ve got way too much money, we’re gonna count this trust, even though the trust was way older than than should and it should have been overlooked. Okay, so we’ve got about a minute left before you cut me off. So let me talk about the second biggest you here, discharge papers. This is a preliminary issue again. Okay, if if someone’s going to apply for V a compensation, they ought to make sure they get a copy of the discharge papers that va is going to see. Oh, you can send to the Department of Defense, Not v A. Okay, you’re getting a D D document. What is my discharge paper? You can send for S F, like in San Francisco, SF one eight zero, or CR Fox triter for using the military f a bit, and I don’t know all of it, but I remember those. Okay, s fe eight zero. That’s a form that goes and there’s a whole list of different addresses where you send it, depending on what military branch you were in and when. Most of the UH, most people who have to submit it send it to the central records. I’m sorry, the central personnel records depot in St Louis, but Um, that not all of them. And then, finally, for people who may have some have something that is not an honorable discharge, they may be able to get it changed. That’s again d o d form one nine. Don’t they the pre don’t ask, don’t tell. Era is a lot of these and that can now be changed. except I understand through sources that the Marine Corps is difficult for reasons that no one really seems to know, but they just are. Well, we are going to talk more about this topic and in the meantime, Jim, thank you so much, and Jim and I will be right back right after this. State of Ohio residents, you have a friend to help you navigate long term care while protecting your assets. You can reach Jim at www dot protecting seniors dot com, or just email him at J K O E W L E R Pyphen a F e. that’s J Kaylor a F E at protecting seniors dot com.
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.
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