Fairfax, Virginia, Life Care Planning Lawyers
Many wartime veterans — and spouses or surviving spouses of veterans — are unaware of the Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA, also called the Veterans Administration) Aid and Attendance benefit. The A&A benefit can provide much-needed assistance when a veteran or a veteran’s spouse needs nursing home, assisted living or in-home care. Our knowledgeable attorneys can advise you about the availability of these benefits.
The maximum benefit rates for Aid and Attendance are:
Single Veteran $1,664 per month ($19,736 per year)
Married Veteran $1,949 per month ($23,396 per year)
Widowed Spouse $1056 per month ($12,681 per year)
Veteran Married to Veteran $2,540 per month ($30,480 per year)
Wartime Service Requirement
To qualify for the benefit, a veteran must have served at least 90 days of active duty including at least one day during a period of war and have received a discharge that was not dishonorable. Periods of war include specific dates for World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars. The veteran need not have served in the war zone to qualify.
Need for Daily Assistance
In addition to military service, the veteran or spouse must be in need of assistance on a regular basis, as certified by a physician. This requirement is met if the claimant is:
- Living in a nursing home
- Needs assistance with dressing or grooming
- Has a physical or mental incapacity that requires assistance to protect the individual from hazards encountered in his or her daily environment.
Income and Asset Requirements
The VA assesses income and asset information to determine eligibility. Recurring medical costs, such as home health, assisted living and nursing home care are deducted from the veteran’s or spouse’s income. If the net income is less than the maximum benefit payment, the claimant meets the income criteria.
Assets generally must be less than $80,000, although the VA can adjust this figure using a net worth calculation. The VA does not penalize veterans or surviving spouses who give away assets to qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit. But giving away assets can result in harsh Medicaid penalties.
Virginia Veterans with Disabilities /Property Owners
Certain veterans with disabilities and their surviving spouses are now exempt from local real estate taxes on their principal residence. On April 6, the Virginia General Assembly approved and Governor McDonnell signed into law an authorizing statute for the exemption. This legislation implements the amendment approved by Virginia voters in November 2010.
Certain requirements must be met in order to qualify for the exemption; veterans who qualify are those who have a VA rating of 100% service connected permanent and total disability. The application is a one-time process and does not need to be submitted annually, unless there is a change in circumstances, such as a change in principal residence. This exemption is not based on the applicant's income or assets. However, certain documentation must be submitted in order to qualify.
The exemption is effective beginning on and after January 1, 2011. Taxes assessed for years prior to this date are not eligible for exemption.
For more information, contact the Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration (DTA) by e-mail at email@example.com or call 703-222-8234, (TTY 703-222-7594). To obtain required disability documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), complete VA Form 21-4138 available with statement online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dta. Click on the link, Disabled Veterans Real Estate Exemption. You can either fax the form to 540-597-1792; or mail it to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office, 210 Franklin Rd., SW, Roanoke, VA 24011, or go to www.vba.va.gov/ro/roanoke/rlc.
By law, disability documentation must come from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It is not sufficient to submit a medical certification from your private physician. After receiving the required VA documentation, download the Fairfax County Disabled Veteran Exemption Application available online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dta and submit the application and documentation to DTA at the address on the application.
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