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Book: How to Apply for VA Benefits for Senior Veterans and Survivors

Book: How to Apply for VA Benefits for Senior Veterans and Survivors

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VA Is Looking for Authority from Congress to Institute a 3 Year Look Back and Penalty for Veterans Pension

April 17, 2015 | by Thomas Day | A note from the author:

We provide an addendum discussing in detail the proposed rule changes from VA. This is available to those who have purchased either of our veterans books (How to Apply for VA Benefits for Senior Veterans and Their Survivors and the Aid & Attendance Handbook for Professionals) in the past or it is currently available as an addition to our current veterans training books that we offer. The addendum goes into much greater detail on the following subjects:

1. An analysis and comparison of VA’s look back and penalty with Senator Wyden’s proposed legislation along with recommended revisions that would make the rules more palatable

2. A summary of each of the proposed rule changes to include the actual rule as well as a discussion of the more pertinent comments that have been submitted pertaining to that rule

3. A summary of the more substantial comments submitted to VA over the proposed rules changes

4. An outline of the future steps VA must complete and the time it might take before publishing the final rules in the Federal Register after which the effective date would likely be 60 days thereafter.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Pension and Fiduciary Service is currently in the process of changing regulations to punish applicants for veterans Pension – a veterans disability income benefit. Any potential applicant who would move or change the nature of his or her assets up to 3 years (36 months) prior to applying for the benefit would be prohibited from receiving the benefit for up to as long as 10 years. VA calls this 36 month period of scrutiny a "look back."

Under the proposed rules, using assets for such things as paying off student loans for grandchildren, paying for grandchildren schooling, gifting money to charities or to religious organizations, gifting money to members of the family, providing personal loans to members of the family, instituting estate planning through the use of trusts, converting an IRA or other retirement account to an immediate annuity or selling off property under an installment contract would likely result in a denial of benefits to any veteran or surviving spouse applying for veterans Pension benefits if the event or events occurred anytime within 36 months of application.

Regardless of the actual intent for using the asset, anyone engaging in a so-called "transfer of a covered asset" is automatically considered to have "cheated" the system by transferring assets in order to qualify financially for the Pension benefit. Transfer of a covered asset could be any number of legitimate uses of an asset even if at the time the person engaging in this activity had absolutely no knowledge of or interest in applying for the Pension benefit. As a result, the Pension benefit will be denied for a certain period of time based on a calculation of the amount of covered asset transferred divided by the maximum monthly Pension rate for that particular applicant – as many as 10 years of penalty!! The only exception is if the transaction is 100% restored to its previous state or the VA Pension benefit applicant can provide clear and convincing evidence that "he or she transferred the asset as the result of fraud, misrepresentation, or unfair business practice related to the sale or marketing of financial products or services for purposes of establishing entitlement to VA Pension."

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2015 April 10 Proposed Legislation for Look Back and Penalty for VA Veterans Pension - The Rise and Fall of the Pension Poachers
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2014 October 15 Advanced Directives, Fiduciaries, Guardianship, and Power of Attorney
2014 August 25 10 Tips to Keep in Mind While Helping Aging Parents
2014 July 30 Guide to Long Term Care Planning
2014 June 25 Understanding the Issues Facing Aging Seniors
2014 May 6 Growing Problem Facing Seniors: Reduced Spending Power
2014 April 10 Caring for Your Grandchildren
2014 March 25 Living Arrangements for Aging Seniors
2014 February 17 Preserving Assets and Transferring Assets to the Next Generation
2014 January 17 Care Management Advice
2013 December 30 Holiday Caregiver Burnout
2013 December 6 The Beginning of the End-Of-Life Planning
2013 November 11 Holiday Blues - Depression among the Elderly
2013 October 24 Medicare Open Enrollment Starts October 15
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2013 June 5 Social Security – A Safety Net for Retired Americans, their Survivors, and the Disabled
2013 April 2 Benefits for Senior Veterans
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2012 November 13 Invisible Heroes
2012 October 8 The Great American Tragedy: Homelessness Among Our Veterans
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2012 April 12 Will the Government Pay for My Long Term Care?
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2012 Feb 7 ARE YOU LISTENING?
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2011 Nov 7 Celebrating Family Caregivers - National Caregivers Month
2011 Oct 10 Can I Get Paid to Care for a Senior Family Member?
2011 Sep 6 Expert Help Available for Seniors on the Move
2011 Aug 8 Social Support Activities Lead to Better Quality of Life As One Ages
2011 July 7 It Has Been a Year Since We Filed for Aid & Attendance for My Father
2011 June 6 How To Protect The Family Home From Medicaid Recovery
2011 May 5 Downsizing, Organizing, Handicap Remodeling or Relocating
2011 April 11 Using Your Home Equity for Long Term Care
2011 March 9 Choosing Home Care Services That Meet Your Needs
2011 February 7 Somebody's Sweetheart
2011 January 7 Working with Elder Parents in Planning Financially for their Long Term Care
2010 December 8 The Perfect Holiday Caregiver: It's all a state of mind
2010 November 5 Choices for End-of Life Caregiving
2010 October 6 Legal Issues with Veterans Benefits
2010 September 8 Helping Your Elderly Parent with COPD Related Depression
2010 August 9 Getting Your Affairs In Order
2010 July 8 Applying for the Veteran's Aid and Attendance Pension: My Personal Experience
2010 June 8 Recognizing Symptoms of Dementia
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2010 April 7 Vitamins and Mineral Supplements Are Important for Older People
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2009 Dec 09 Who Was Supposed to be Watching Grandma?
2009 Nov 11 Long Term Care for Senior Veterans
2009 Oct 13 Planning for Your Elder Years
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2009 Sep 9 Medication Problems and the Elderly
2009 Aug 20 Community Aging Services and Senior Centers
2009 Aug 6 One-Stop Shopping for Elder Care Services
2009 Jul 9 Family Reunion--a Good Time for Family Planning
2009 Jun 25 Putting Home Care in Perspective
2009 Jun 4 The Hidden Secret of Elder Abuse
2009 May 20 Government Program Pays Family for Care
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2009 Apr 8 Long Distance Care Givers Receive Help
2009 Mar 17 Government Program Pays the Cost of Elder Care
2009 Feb 26 Nursing Homes for Veterans
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