I hope everyone had a very blessed Christmas holiday!
As most of you know, we have a large senior population in Hood County and many of you are veterans who served on active duty during a wartime period.
The Veterans Administration has a program called Pension Aid and Attendance which was designed to provide supplemental income to wartime veterans or surviving spouses of these veterans who have limited means to help with the cost of assisted living.
To determine eligibility, you need an original or certified copy of your discharge papers, copy of marriage certificate if married, copy of marriage and death certificate if you’re the veteran’s widow, an account of total income and assets (not including your home) and a list of your non-reimbursed medical expenses which include the cost of assisted living either home or domicile care, and health insurance premiums.
A LITTLE EXTRA CAN HELP
If you are a married veteran, take your yearly income, subtract your out-of-pocket costs for your medical expenses, to include the annual cost of assisted living and if what is left is less than $24,239 per year, the VA will make up the difference up to that amount. For example, if you income is $40,000 a year from all sources and assisted living costs $36,000 a year, that leaves you $4,000 to live on. So, the VA will pay $20,239 or $1,686 per month.
Surviving Spouses can get up to $1,094 a month towards assisted living and single veterans can get up to $1,703 per month.
SAVE THE FEES
The County Veteran Service Office does not charge for our services, but there are groups who advertise this program and charge a fee for filing these claims. Some claim to be affiliated with Veterans Organizations and will talk veterans into moving their assets into a trust in order to qualify for benefits.
Hiding assets to qualify for a Federal benefit is considered fraud and we will not support any organization that advertises these services.
The Veterans Administration has access to income information reported to the Internal Revenue Service and can pull those records to verify eligibility. It may take them some time, but if they find an error after approving a claim, they will recoup those payments.
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE
In the end, it’s the veteran or surviving spouse’s signature on the claim and they are responsible for providing full and honest disclosure. Remember, this program is for individuals of limited means. If your net worth is over $60,000-$80,000, you may not qualify.
I encourage anyone interested in this program to call me at 817-579-3292 for a quick assessment of your potential eligibility. If you are not a resident of Hood or Somervell County, contact your county for your local Veteran Service Office.
If you are already enrolled in the VA Health Care system and are using the facilities in Dallas or Fort Worth, the VA North Texas Healthcare System has a local contracted clinic where eligible veterans can get medical care and referrals as well. Contact the County Veteran Service Officer if you are interested in changing your primary care physician in Dallas, Fort Worth or Temple to Granbury.
The address for the local CBOC is: Granbury Primary Care Clinic, 601 Fall Creek Highway, Granbury, 817-326-3902.
[email protected] | 817-579-3292