VA Planning After “The Lookback”

A year into the “new VA regulations” it is clear that planning for VA benefits is still a viable longterm care planning strategy.   On October 18, 2018 as part of a comprehensive plan to help reorganize the Department of Veterans Affairs and benefit programs themselves, the VA finally adopted new regulations affecting the non-service related improved compensation benefit program or as we refer to it, A&A (aid and attendance).

Among the changes:

  • A three (3) lookback period.
  • Changes to who can be a caregiver.
  • A new “bright-line asset test” of $126,420.00

Following these changes, more people were able to apply and receive benefits without planning.   However, planning is still important to not only remain eligible to receive benefits , but to also begin planning for Medicaid benefits–if nursing home care will be required in the future.

Most strategies will still involve supplementing your estate plan with an irrevocable trust to not only protect the assets that you have if you are under the new $126,420.oo threshold, but to also protect your home if in the event that it is sold AFTER you have already qualified for these benefits.

If you are residing in Michigan, a veteran, or family of a veteran either receiving these benefits or in need of VA A&A benefits, then you should call our office to learn more about longterm care planning.  866-529-ELDR or 586-264-3756.

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