How to secure long-term care VA benefit for vets

One of the scariest aspects of long-term care for the elderly in Florida is not just the cost, but the lack of proper planning for it. Many people rely on Medicaid, only to find out too late that it does not cover all the costs associated with care. However, when it comes to veterans there is a Veterans Administration program with a host of benefits they can benefit from.

In 2015, Forbes estimated that people would pay $91,250 to stay in the private room of a nursing home. This is more than most Americans can afford to pay even in their highest earning years. The Aid and Attendance program provided by the VA makes it much easier for vets to afford long-term care.

This more than 60-year program provides assistance with the following expenses:

  • Assisted living
  • Nursing homes
  • In-home care

In spite of its availability only 5% of vets who are eligible apply for the benefit. This leaves way too much money on the table for not just vets but their spouse. In 2015, the program paid up to the following amounts:

  • $2,837 to veteran couples
  • $2,120 to a married veteran
  • $1,788 to a single veteran
  • $1,149 to the surviving spouse of a veteran

Often, the long list of requirements deters vets from applying. According to Forbes, one of the requirements in 2017 was at least 90 days of active duty during specific wars. Secondly, the vet or their spouse must need assistance with basic activities, such as dressing or bathing. Finally, excluding the home and car, the vet must have less than $80,000 in assets with some fine print as to what does or does not count.

Overall, this VA benefit is great news for vets who are concerned about their long-term care. While the benefits can be notoriously difficult to qualify for and may include long wait times, it does not hurt to try. Better a no than leaving thousands of dollars on the table.