There are a surprisingly high number veterans, and surviving spouses of veterans, who are simply unaware of the fact that they could be entitled to cash benefits through the recently improved pension program via the Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA). This program is referred to as “aid and attendance.”
To be eligible:
-The Veteran has to have served for a minimum of 90 (consecutive) days of active service.
-At least 1 day during war time.
-This was increased to 2 years of active duty for the Persian Gulf War.
-The veteran must have a total and permanent disability that is not linked to their own willful misconduct.
-The widow(er) or the veteran must sign an application and have it submitted to the VA.
While most veterans and their spouses enjoy a family income that goes beyond the permissible income limits for this program, it is possible to use unreimbursed medical expenses that have been paid by the claimant themselves to reduce their countable income.
In order for payments to a family caregiver to be counted as
unreimbursed medical expenses for the VA’s purposes, they must meet the
-Care must have been prescribed by the physician on Form 21-2680 (or the Physician’s Affidavit) and the veteran has been rated as housebound or in need for aid and attendance.
-The individual filing the claim must write a check each month for the caregiver. It is advisable to save documented proof of the financial exchange for as long as possible. Additionally, the caregiver may have a personal tax liability.
-There must be detailed documentation of the care the veteran has received. It is advisable to create a caregiver contract and a sitter affidavit to meet the VA’s requirements. If the fees associated with an in-home attendant or medical professional are an allowable expense, documentation of these expenses are also required.
For the VA’s purposes, documentation can include receipts, computer summary, a statement drafted on a provider’s letterhead, a bank statement, or a ledger.
It is important to include the amount that has been paid, the date they were made, a description related to the nature of the product or service provided, the name of the person the product or service was intended for, and identification of the party to whom the payment was made.
To learn more about Colorado veterans benefits you can click here or call (303) 409-3547.