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LTC benefits from the VA.

Q I recently met with a couple where the husband is entitled to veterans' benefits. I need advice about the benefits the couple could receive from the VA so I can design an appropriate long-term-care plan.

A The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pays for some long-term care services for veterans needing long-term care due to service-related disabilities and for those who do not have service-related disabilities but who need care and are unable to pay for the cost of necessary care.

This pension benefit can assist veterans, their spouses and widows/widowers to assure a level of income above the minimum subsistence level. There are three program levels: Basic, Housebound and Aid and Attendance (A&A).

A&A assists veterans and their surviving spouses who require the help of another person to assist with activities of daily living. It helps cover the cost of qualified non-reimbursed medical expenses, home care, assisted-living facility and nursing home care. In existence for decades, it is widely unknown and under-utilized.

These dollars are basically cash for whatever the needs are. Here is a list of the benefits that can be provided:

Single Qualified Veteran

* Basic Improved Pension: Up to $1,038 per month

* Pension with Housebound: Up to $1,269 per month

* Pension with A&A: Up to $1,732 per month

Qualified Veteran with Spouse

* Basic Improved Pension: Up to $1,360 per month

* Pension with Housebound: Up to $1,590 per month

* Pension with A&A: Up to $2,054 per month

Surviving Spouse (Death Pension)

* Basic Improved Pension: Up to $696 per month

* Pension with Housebound: Up to $851 per month

* Pension with A&A: Up to $1,113 per month

Co-pays may apply depending on the veteran's income and asset level. For more information visit the website http://longtermcare.gov.

Applying for veterans benefits can be a long and complicated process. Frequently, even the department's own staff is not well versed to explain to veterans and families the types of benefits available and criteria for qualifying.

How am I handling this with my own clients?

I give them a copy of Chapter 15 titled "VA Benefits" in the new booklet from the 3in4Association, "The Essentials Of Long Term Care Planning."

Another option is to suggest to the clients that they use the cash from the VA benefit to buy a LTCI policy.

To download a copy of the new booklet, go to the website www.3in4NeedMore.com.

MARGIE BARRIE IS A PRINCIPAL AT HAGELMAN BARRIE SALES TRAINING SOLUTIONS AND IS THE AUTHOR OF THE NEW BOOK, "SELLING LTCI TODAY: 46 WAYS TO FIND CLIENTS AND CLOSE MORE SALES." FOR INFORMATION, GO TO HER WEBSITE, WWW.MARGIEBARRIE.COM. FOR MORE ARTICLES FROM MARGIE BARRIE, VISIT LIFEHEALTHPRO.COM/AUTHOR/MARGIE-BARRIE.
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Title Annotation:LTCI Insider
Author:Barrie, Margie
Publication:Senior Market Advisor
Date:Nov 1, 2013
Words:459
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