WealthMerge has analyzed the 136 page rule changes along with many bar associations, elder law organizations and VA “specialist” – like the DRA when new, many are quite alarmed for a number of reasons. Below is a list of hot-topic changes:
- 3 year look back period
- Maximum disqualification period is 5 years
- Penalty divisor (indexed) is the pension amount for a veteran and dependent (regardless of who is applying)
- The penalty only applies to the assets transferred, had they been kept, that would have put them over the resource limit. Example: Assets and income (see below) are $100,000. They recently gave away $50,000. Had they kept the $50,000, total would have been $150,000. Subtract the $123,600 to come up with the penalized gift.
- House (on up to 2 acres, with exceptions) remains not-countable
- Maximum assets (regardless of title) has been increased (and indexed) to the CSRA amount of $123,600
- ADL’s has been expanded to include cognitive care
- Assets and Income are added together to calculate the maximum assets. For example, a claimant with $118,000 in assets and $9000 in income with have excess assets ($118,000 + $9000 = $127,000) and be ineligible for Aid and Attendance.
VA pension has been historically a crisis planning strategy. The new rules will now make it essential that it becomes a proactive planning strategy.
WealthMerge offers innovative financial strategies, that when done with proactive planning can 1) eliminate the need for A&A and/or 2) ensure that the qualification is properly done 36 months prior to application.