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VA Benefits – Aid and Attendance

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The basics of an oft-misunderstood V.A pension benefit that is available for veterans & their widowed surviving spouses.

Wartime veterans and their surviving spouse with limited incomes, who are totally &  permanently disabled for reasons not traceable to their service, may be eligible to receive compensation under the NSC (non-service connected) VA disability program. There are two disability programs available through the VA that pays monthly benefits to  disabled veterans. They are:

1.      Disability Compensation (service related disabilities)

2.      Disability Pension (non-service related disabilities)

This article will focus on the Disability Pension. Under this Pension there are three pension benefit levels. They are:

1.      Disabled Veteran unable to work

2.      Housebound disabled veteran or surviving spouse

3.      Disabled Veteran or surviving spouse who needs aid & attendance care

Let’s focus and drill down more on the Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit Provision. eBenefits.Va.Gov

VA-Benefits

Most VSO (Veterans Service Organizations) and V.C.O (Veterans Commission Offices) provide very little information on the aid & attendance provision of the disability pension. This lack of communication along with the large government bureaucracy and run-around most veterans or surviving spouses experience when dealing with the VA has led to many eligible individuals to not fully receive the benefits they earned and are entitled. eBenefits.Va.Gov

This benefit provided by the Veteran’s Administration (VA) is the “Improved Pension Disability Pension with Aid and Attendance entitlement” but often called just the Aid and Attendance VA Benefit.

It is available to certain wartime veterans who are totally disabled because of a non-service connected condition; who are in financial need; and who need the aid and attendance of another person in order to avoid the hazards of the daily environment.

This Improved Pension program allows for Veterans who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing, undressing or taking care of the needs of nature to receive financial benefits paid to them monthly.

An improved pension benefit is also available for the surviving spouse of the wartime veteran.  The spouse is only eligible for this V.A financial assistance when he or she is a widow and has not remarried.  This improved pension is called the “Improved Death Pension Benefit with Aid and Attendance entitlement.”  The eligibility requirements are identical but the monthly benefit is a lower dollar amount.

Applying for the pension benefit is not difficult.

It requires you to complete a long application and provide documentation.  The V.A is picky on how the documentation looks and what it states.  Of particular confusion is the medical documentation.  The VA has three different medical forms and none of them are doctor friendly.

The real difficulty with applying for the V.A disability pension benefit is understanding what the V.A really wants, in what format and when.  Add to that the really confusing multiple letters you will get during the claim processing. eBenefits.Va.Gov

Here is an example.  You send in everything that is required in the right format and on the right forms.  You then receive a letter from the VA that lists that they need this huge list of information and documents to support the claim and to further process the application.   It is not until the 4th or 5th page of this letter that you see a small list of items they have received with your claim application.

Confused?  You bet.

Do you still need to send in additional information?  Was what you sent them okay, or do they want more?

To add to the confusion there is this form called the “VCAA Notice Response” and it has only two boxes to check. One box asks if you want an additional 60 days to send in supporting information.  The other box says they will adjudicate your claim immediately because you don’t want to send in any more supporting information.

What to do?  Panic and self-doubt sets in.  Nothing in the letter tells you what to do.  It sounds like they want more information.  Why did they send all these additional forms to fill out?

Should you sign this form that wants you to Authorize Release of Medical Information?  You sent in the doctor’s evaluation with the original application, wasn’t that good enough?

The vast majority of people wish they knew how to respond and understand these confusing letters from the VA.

Why do they make it so hard to get this financial assistance?

Hundreds of people have turned to an Aid and Attendance Handbook from Veterans Care Advisors to get these answers, and more.   Understanding what the VA wants when you apply for the Aid and Attendance (just one of the little-known veteran benefits) can make the difference between a faster approval or even getting approved.

In the example above – Checking one box will add 4 months onto the claim processing where checking the other box will result in you getting your financial assistance within 60 days. Which box should you check – and why? http://www.VeteransCareAdvisors.com provides the answer to this question along with real samples of the numerous letters the VA will send you.

There is an easier way to get the money you deserve from the VA with all the answers to your questions.

Greg Cook is a consultant with extensive experience dealing with governmental agencies in the financial world and with major non-profit organizations. He has helped hundreds of senior citizens successfully navigate the long term care industry.

He is a senior advocate, geriatric care manager and a Certified Senior Advisor. To learn more about how to qualify for up to $1,843 per month in VA financial assistance, visit Mr. Cook’s website; Veterans Care Advisors dot com.

Jobs for Veterans

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Many military men and women enlist when they are quite young and do not give much thought to what they want to do when their time serving their country is through. For some, military service becomes a way of life and they choose to stay and make a career out of it. For others, 2 years or four years seems like a lifetime and all they can think about is their discharge date. Regardless, whether those veterans are re-entering the civilian work world at 22 or retiring after 20 years of service, plans need to be made. It is important that our country ensure good jobs for veterans. eBenefits.Va.Gov

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Veteransoften have learned a lot in their military training that can be helpful in a civilian job as well. Many skills are transferable, such as computer and technology skills, medical training, or specialized mechanical or construction skills. Jobs for veterans are sometimes high demand jobs, and therefore, many veterans will transition into the workforce almost seamlessly.

Other veterans may need a helping hand to find a career which is a good fit for them after their military service is finished. There are places to begin the search for post-service employment which  may offer better opportunities to find jobs for veterans, and be more veteran friendly.

One good place to look for jobs for veterans is the Veterans Administration itself. They’ve needs in many different areas that veterans are well qualified to fill, in a wide range of professions. Working with the VA gives veterans the chance to work with and make an impact on other veterans.eBenefits.Va.Gov

Other government agencies also offer lots of jobs for veterans. In those cases, there are special civil service testing programs available for veterans. These are two of the more commonly used programs:

Veterans Preference: This program allots additional points to the veteran on his or her civil service test. Five points preference is given to most veterans who served during any war. Ten points is given to disabled veterans. Many people are not aware that hiring preference is also extended to the spouse and dependent of active duty military members. Additionally, the spouse or mother of a disabled veteran is typically entitled to a ten-point preference, as they are if the military member died in service. eBenefits.Va.Gov

Veterans Readjustment Act: What this program does is enables the Department of Defense have jobs for veterans. They can appoint a veteran to the position without competition, and without being on the eligibility list. Use of this authority is discretionary, and no is specifically entitled to a VRA appointment.

Denise Gabbard is a Professional Writer and SEO and Social Media Consultant. She feels strongly about the need to support our veterans, and urges all vets to find out more about jobs for vets.

Secret Benefits For Veterans – The Untold Story

eBenefits.VA.Gov– Are there really secret benefits for veterans?The answer isNo, but the VA often makes it very difficult to easily find the benefit you need. And then, if you find the information, you have to then try and decipher the government lingo. These factors combine to make most people believe that there really are secret benefits for veterans. Or at least secrets from the common everyday person!

Let’s look at one of the most infamous secret benefits for veterans…the veteran disability pension benefit. It is not a retirement benefit that one normally correlates with the word “pension”.

It is the most misunderstood benefit available from the VA. In fact, a large majority of the local and county veterans offices that are suppose to help you learn about and understand the benefit are unaware of its existence.

Those that do know about the pension benefit often too easily dismiss those that inquire that they probably do not qualify. We have sampled various county veterans services offices in multiple states and have consistently received incomplete and inaccurate information in the majority of them.

HERE IS WHY

The veteran disability pension is an income qualified benefit. If the right questions are not asked, then the adjustments to income from qualified un-reimbursed medical expense is not applied to the income qualifier. For example, if a veteran has household income from social security, retirement pension, interest and stock dividend of $3,000 per month he/she would be told they do not qualify as their income is too high. eBenefits.VA.Gov

Yes, this veterans total household income of 3,000 per month is above the veteran disability pension benefit maximum allowable amount of $1,554 ($18,654 per year). He/She therefore will not qualify. However, the income qualification is not on total income, it is on “countable income”. This is the most common mistake that probably prevents thousands of veterans receive the VA benefit they deserve.

COUNTABLE INCOME

The income qualification for the veterans disability pension benefit is based on having “countable income” below the maximum disability pension benefit level of $1,554 ($18,654 per year).

Countable Income is arrived at by subtracting from the total household income all qualified un-reimbursed medical expenses. These expenses include supplemental medical insurance premiums, long term care insurance premiums, prescription costs or co-payments, certain medical supplies like oxygen or incontinence pads, home care costs and even the cost of assisted living.

Our veteran has $3,000 per month in total household income. Straight-up he/she does not qualify. BUT, the veteran pays $697 per month in supplemental insurance premiums and $297 per month in unreimbursed prescription costs. In addition, the veteran has a home care aid coming in to help at a cost of $1,385 per month. The veterans total qualified expenses are $2,379 per month.

The veterans countable income is thus $3,000 minus $2,379 = $621. With a countable income of $621 this veteran is eligible (from the financial qualifier only) to receive a veterans disability pension benefit of ($1,554 maximum benefit minus $621 countable income) $933 per month!

Now that is a great secret benefits for veterans to know about!

If you want to get the VA benefits you or your loved one deserves then you too must learn how you can locate and get the SECRET BENEFITS FOR VETERANS. Veterans Care Advisor’s http://www.veteranscareadvisors.com has helped hundreds of veterans find and easily understand the eligibility requirements and properly document their VA disability benefits claim for a quicker approval. Now you too can get the SECRET BENEFITS FOR VETERANS.