Elder law and special needs attorney Jim Koewler talks with Suzanne Newman about veterans benefits, claims, and appeals under the current rules. If your loved ones have spent any time in the military, they may qualify for benefits you might not be aware with. This segment provides an overview of three basic veterans benefits:
VA Pension (a.k.a. Aid and Attendance)
- To help aged or disabled “wartime” veterans or their surviving spouses pay for high medical costs
VA Compensation (a.k.a. VA Disability)
- For veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active service
Dependent and indemnity compensation
- For surviving spouses, children, or parents IF veteran’s death was connected to service, or if veteran died during active duty or training
- Special monthly compensationFor veteran who needs help from another person with Activities of Daily Living, or has certain disabilities (e.g., loss of limb)For surviving spouse, child, or parent who needs help from another person with ADLs
VA Long-Term Care in VA Health Program
- Geriatric Evaluation
- Adult Day Health Care
- Respite Care
- Skilled Home Health Care
- Residential services
Listen or watch on YouTube if you want to follow along with the presentation. Contact Jim Koewler at The Koewler Law Firm in Richfield, OH by calling 330-659-3579 or emailing [email protected] His website is https://www.protectingseniors.com.
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 back to the answers for ALDERS radio podcast network. And we are here with Mr Jim Taylor of the Taylor law firm in Ohio in but we are talking about veterans benefits and really if you have a loved one who needs long term care on there may be some benefits available to them, and so I make sure that you check out part one, but we are now moving into part two and Jim take it away. Thanks, Susanne. Okay, Mbi, when they asked me to do this presentation, both times they’ve asked me to do it, they for whatever reason in their outline also wanted kind of a an overview before I winned the details. Okay, so the you know, you’ll let you’ve heard the old saying when you’re giving a speech, tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them and tell them what you told him. Well, this is NBI building in your got me telling them what I’m going to tell them, so we might as well use it here. It will probably use up the better part of a segment. So this may be a quick overview of what all is available and maybe fill a segment. Maybe we well, maybe we’ll go short. We’ll figure it out. Okay. So in my slides this is this is subtitled types of veterans benefits, Colon, va a attendance, disability, etc. NBI. Pick the title because I’m not big on using the term aid in attendance because it actually applied to two different benefit programs. But most people don’t know that. They call it aid an attendance when it’s actually what Veh calls the pension program and we’ll get into that. It probably in part that later in part two, or maybe even part three and four. Okay, so what I call va pension, what va calls va pension, okay, is known by most people as aid in attendance. Right. So va pension is a bad name, for it implies twenty or thirty years of service, just like your normal pension from, you know, Ford Motor or ltvs deal or whatever. Okay, no, not at all. Va Pension is at pre Vietnam, I’m sorry, Vietnam and earlier ninety days of active duty was enough to trigger pension, as long as you had some time, during a time of war and post Vietnam. It’s two years, so nothing near twenty or thirty years. But Congress picked the name. So you can guess how appropriate it was. This is Congress idea. Yeah, actually, in the cynical part of me thinks it was intentional because they would to set it up but they didn’t want people to use it, so they title it something that people they know. That an apply to me because it’s twenty or thirty years. Okay. And just to be clear, this is separate from Department of Defense Pension for for people who were in the military for twenty or thirty or forty years, God it. That is dood pension, just like the way lifers at the around Protection Agency, in the IRS and the Department of Justice, they all draw a pension through the general fund of State of Taxation. Okay, that you can get that and still be eligible for va pension, because thea pension is based on health issues. Okay. That’s why. Another reason why the name is bad. Thank you, Congress. Okay, but most people at eight and attendance within pension, and we’ll see this, and probably I’m looking at the clock, probably in segment three will see this. Within pension there are three levels of coverage based on your health needs. The basic level of pension, or simple pension, is veterans who otherwise qualify but whose health needs create costs high, close to her, higher than their income. Okay, so that’s simple pension, right. House bound is simple pension plus some extra money. And House bound is you have health needs that create cost close to her of your income and you have difficulty getting out the house and getting around it. It doesn’t mean you can’t go to the doctor, but you’re just not bouncing out of the house every day. You have something that limits your ability and you can stay home. What I understand in my industry we say they have to meet a minimum of two of seven of the quote unquote, activities of daily living, or he’s not. That’s not housebound. That’s not how spot okay, so that’s why I was asking. Okay, this is it’s simply difficult for you to get out of the house, got it, and to go do fun things, for things if your choose. Okay, when you have to get out, you can get out. I mean the emergency, yeah, you can get out. You still count as housebound, but if you you’re not getting on to go play golf. You’re not getting down to go play Bingo. Granted, look, takes a little more physical effort to play Bingo, to play golf that it does Bingo. And since I’m not a golf for as far as I’m gon takes only a little more sopping to golf and things like that. Yeah, it’s hard. You know you’re not. You’re not getting out for social purposes, but you can get out to grocery shop, you can get out to the doctor. You still might be considered housebound. Okay, it’s I will admit it’s somewhat fuzzy. Okay. And then aid and attendance is a higher level of help. So you have to meet the basic pension requirements. Healthcare costs close to or above your income. Plus you need help with activity dayly liiving the usual definition of activities day to living that applies in the Medicaid world, along term your insurance world is worded slightly differently in va, but not significantly enough for most people that it matters. But for each particular individual that’s applying, you have to get down to the details, okay, and the warning of these is not the rules. It’s in a guidance document from the Va. So this is why you work with work with someone who’s a credited because they know where to go find that guidance document the private fly have it right in the computer or a link to it on the computer. Okay. So that’s the three levels and it’s the eight attendance level that pays the most money. So that’s why people call this the aid and attendance program whether than pension program because almost everyone’s applying for eight in attendance. They want the biggest amount of money. Okay, but it’s still the pension program and I whenever someone says aid in attendance in front of one of my friends from the Veteran Service Commission, they will immediately get corrected as Oh, that is pension plus special monthly compensation. Okay, the house bound is pension plus special monthly compensation. It’s just how much special monthly compensation. It is housebound compensation or eight intense compensation. Okay. So they are very precise in it and I try to be stuffy about it, but you do need to when you’re going to ask, you need to know to ask for the right thing so you don’t get directed into compensation plus eight attendance and we’ll talk about that. Okay. So the basics of the a pension is it’s to help aged or disabled and the age is anybody over sixty five. So those of you who are hundred sixty five, yeah, you’ve been insulted. Sorry. This goes back to the original full retirement agent Sol security and hasn’t been changed. Okay. So aged or disabled wartime veterans, so this is someone who served during a time of war. Do not follow the history books on that. Will get into that more, okay, but the history books on war time is different than Congress on wartime. And Okay to be a pension eligibility on war time. Okay. Or surviving spouses. So if the Veterans Alive, the veteran can pull this down at the spouse is the one that’s creating the costs. But they won’t be eligible for house bounder or aid in attendance because that’s based on the veterans health while the veterans alive. So they may get simple pension for a married couple, but they won’t get aid in attendance or House bound because it’s not the veteran who needs it. When the veterans passed away, their surviving spouse can get house bound or aid in attendance on his or her own health needs because the veterans gone. So the measuring life on those health needs has changed when the veterans passed away. Okay, and this is for high medical costs, and when we get into this in segment three we’ll talk about what constitutes a medical cost. It’s actually quite generous in some ways and very limiting in others. Okay, the V A compensation program, which is also called be a disability, and actually be a disability is a very good way to describe it. It is for veterans with disabilities that where the disabilities are the result, I. We disease or injury that in was incurred or aggravated during the time in the service. Exactly. So if you had something a small some damage to your leg when, before you ever got the military, you did some stupid you and your kid, like kids do, and it kind of lingered, but it wasn’t so bad that it kept you out of the military. But it’s something in military made it worse and now, potentially years later, it keeps you from working. Yeah, that that is aggravated by the military, your activities in the military. That is a potentially eligible for compensation. So I mean, and this is everything from barely disabled or not yet disabled but you have something to you can’t work, and they have different scales for that and we’ll get into that too, probably in segment for and then there’s a dependent and indemnity compensation. This is when the veteran who is in the compensation program has passed away or the veteran died during time of the service. This is a program that pays money to the dependence, the surviving spouse and dependent family members. If it’s if the veteran or deceased military service member was young enough, it may actually pay to the parents if they were dependent. Okay, and we’ll talk more about this later, but that’s referred to as Di see, for obvious reasons. And then on top of that is this also has special monthly compensation and in the compensation program the disability pro ramp. That’s why I’m fussy about eight and attendance, because if the veteran needs help, that visit ay the living sounds like an intendance, doesn’t they can get additional compensation if they have a certain disability. They lost a limb, they lost a finger, there’s a cash benefit for that specifically tied to that body part. Yeah, I know it’s kind of Morbid, but it is what it is. And then it’s also available for the surviving spouse, childood parent who needs help with from another person with that Tuesday, the living. Guess what they call this? Aid and attendance. Yes, they do, see about my terminology. Okay, that’s why I’m fussy about calling pension pension. Yeah, in attendance isn’t add on, both in the pension program and this considence compensation program very interesting. And then, in addition, through va health, okay, va pension and via compensation are cash programs. Okay, through va health, services are available, and some of the services are listed on my screen for those who can see it. JARETIC evaluation, adult day healthcare, respite care, skilled home healthcare, and then there are certain residential services that are available through va long term care in the VA health program and I’m reading it for those who are simply listening, assistant living, personal care homes, family care homes, group living homes, psychiatric community residential care homes, va community living centers, community nursing homes, and in states where they have the states veter insult. So and that is it for my kind of overview and I think this is good time to in segment to well, that’s fabulous and Jim, thank you for much, so much. I am learning a bunch on this. I think it’s really important that we all understand the difference. And Wow, this is really important for all of us to listen to. And so we’re going to talk about eligibility. How do you get involved in how do you apply if you’re qualified? So Jim 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 wwwoprotecting Seniorscom or just email him at j Koewler afe. That’s j Taylor AFE at protecting Seniorscom.
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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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