Effective October 18, 2018:
New Rules for Veterans Benefits Makes It More Difficult to Obtain for Our Veterans
The VA has worked for 3 years to make this unilateral change to its VA law concerning Wartime Pension Benefits for long-term care (having nothing to do with career pension.) The VA has circumvented Congress in adopting this law change and after announcing the proposed rule change in 2015, the VA has just published the new law in their Federal Register on September 18, 2018.
On September 18, the Veterans Administration (VA) published new rules that make it more difficult to qualify for this important benefit. For example, any gifts that you made in the past 36 months, either to a family member or to an irrevocable trust, would be penalized. Likewise, an investment in an annuity would also be penalized. This means you could be prohibited from qualifying for VA pension benefits for up to 5 years, depending on the amount of the gift.
There are other requirements to the new rules, but the above are the most impactful to your case if you still wish to pursue these benefits, which would provide a cash benefit to help defray your cost of care.
The good news is, you can still get under the old rules where there is no penalty for making gifts or transferring funds to an irrevocable trust but you have to act quickly. The new rules go into effect on October 18, 2018, and we must have all planning done by that date.
If you would like to pursue a VA pension application (or at least get a plan in place) before the new, more restrictive rules go into effect, please contact my office right away.