Many older veterans are unaware that they can qualify for financial help in paying for the cost of home care. Most veterans complete their military service and move on with their lives without looking to the VA for help. But VA pension benefits can become important for these veterans later in life. To qualify for VA pension the veteran must be 65 or older, or permanently disabled for reasons not related to military service. In addition, the veteran must have low income and only modest new worth. The veteran must have had 90 days of military service that included at least one day during a period of war. To receive a pension, the veteran’s income must be below the maximum annual pension rate set by the government. Because medical expenses reduce countable income, an aging veteran who needs ongoing long-term care services and supports may now be able to qualify for financial assistance from the VA, says Anné Desormier-Cartwright, of Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA. The extra funds can make all the difference in allowing the veteran to get the support needed to remain at home. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to handle all of your state and planning needs.
You’ve served your country, protected our freedom, and now it’s time for you to obtain your VA pension. The veteran’s pension is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to low-income, war-time veterans. But it is not always easy to collect. “Generally, a veteran must have at least 90 days “of active duty service, with at least one day during a “wartime period to qualify for a VA pension. “There are stringent asset and income tests “that restrict eligibility “to a limited group of qualified individuals.” Says Anne Desormier-Cartwright of Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA. In addition to meeting minimum service requirements, the veteran must be age 65 or older, or totally and permanently disabled, or a patient at a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, or receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, or receiving Supplemental Security Income. A successful VA pension claim depends on the inclusion of the right VA forms, as well as their correct completion. The guidance of an experienced Elder Law Attorney can be invaluable while you’re navigating long-term care benefits from the VA. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service, but large enough to handle all of your estate and planning needs.
When we value the sacrifices made by brave men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces, there are plenty of ways to give back. Saying a sincere “thank you for your service” can go a long way towards reminding them that people care. There is a lot more you can do, however, to support the veterans you know and those in your community.
In our practice we work with senior veterans and their loved ones to obtain valuable veterans pension benefits. We know this is just the first step, however, when it comes to all that we can be doing to help the veterans around us. This Veterans Day, let us share five organizations that make giving back to veterans not just easy but effective.
1. Directory of Veteran Services Organizations
Unfortunately, there are a lot of groups that claim to help veterans while failing to actually deliver. Some might have high administrative costs where only a small amount of funding ever makes it to a vet, and others might be outright scams. The best thing to do is to choose from the approved list of organizations offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA offers many legitimate groups to choose from, and finding some that fit your interests could make a huge difference for a veteran who needs help.
2. Purple Heart Homes
Purple Heart Homes is a nonprofit that was founded in 2008, by two combat veterans who were injured in Iraq. They set out to help fellow injured vets and today they provide safe and accessible housing for disabled veterans all over the country.
3. Four Block
Four Block is an organization that provides educational support for student veterans who are studying to acquire good jobs. A great way to support Four Block is by earmarking any donations you make to your alma mater so that some portion goes toward funding Four Block’s student-veteran scholarships.
4. Veterans Success Resource Group
The Veterans Success Resource Group provides professional and personal resources for veterans, their families, and their caregivers. It does this by bringing together hundreds of veterans at events all over the country that are designed to help them interact with potential employers, universities and local government representatives. Consider volunteering your time to help, or attend an event in your area to help connect a veteran to your professional network.
5. The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program
The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program is ideal for attorneys looking to expand their law practice, and for those who just want to help former service members. The program provides free training and veterans law experience for attorneys who agree to counsel or represent at least one veteran who needs help with a Veterans Court appeal.
We know these organizations are just a start to all the great groups out there working to improve the lives of veterans and their families. If you have groups that you work with, we would encourage you to share them with us as well! Do you have questions? Do not wait to contact our office to ask them or to schedule a consultation with Attorney Anne’ Desormier-Cartwright.