Assisted Living Facilities
One of the major thoughts on our minds, as we grow older, is what will happen to your spouse or to you when one of you is no longer able to take care of the other one. We all know that there are Assisted Living Facilities or nursing homes throughout the state that are for veterans, but only for the veterans. No spouse who is not a veterans in his/her own right is eligible to be placed in residency. There are many privately owned facilities that will take you or your spouse on a pay-as-you-go basis. These cost between 3000 to 5000 thousand per month. The VA is not into Assisted Living Facilities but they have gone one step further. If you qualify, they have a VA pension plan which can pay veterans up to $1644 to use toward the monthly cost of Assisted Living Facilities chosen by you. They even have a homebound plan if you could stay in your own home. Here are some of the VA pension Qualifications.
1.Veterans must have served 90 days active duty/1 day wartime service
a. Same requirement for widow’s spouse.
b. Widow’s entitlement based on LAST spouse.
2. Income Limits
a. Both veterans and spouse’s income count
b. On-going medical expenses for both veteran and spouse are used to reduce countable income
c. VA computers are connected to Social Security & IRS computers
3. Asset Limits
a. VA counts all assets under vet/spouse social security numbers
b. VA takes “life expectancy” in determining availability of assets
c. VA considers depletion rate of assets if over $80,000
4. Medical Evidence
a. Veteran must have at least one disability rated at 100% disabling, then the VA will consider special monthly pension
b. Widow only needs aid & attendance form completed
c. Attached Aid & Attendance forms will be provided by your Veterans Service Officer
Required information for initial veterans or widow’s pension claims
Medical treatment records
Net worth: bank accounts; stocks; IRAs; annuities
Income: social security; pension; interest/dividends; dependent’s wages
Dependency: marriage certificate; divorce information for both veterans and spouse
Medical expenses: nursing care; all heath insurance premiums; including Medicare Part B & D
Facility cost of care letter
Aid & Attendance letter or FL Dept of Elder Affairs Form 1823
Death Certificate (if applicable)
After you have done some homework, putting together some of the facts and figures on the questions above, the most important part is to call Fred Harrop, your Veterans Service Officer, at 352-753-2686 and ask for an appointment. Fred will guide and assist you on your quest for a special monthly pension from the VA. Fred’s office is at the Villages Annex on CR 466.
MORE: A friend of mine told me that some of the major stores in the area well give you a 10% discount on the amount of your purchase. The two stores that were mentioned were Home Depot and Lowe’s. You must have a DD Form 2 (retired) ID card from or a Department of Veterans Affairs with picture ID card.
For additional veterans information, visit the Veterans Corner on the VHA Web site at thevillagesvoice.com Hope to see at our next VHA meeting.
Sterling A. Wood, U.S.Army (ret)
Chairman, VHA Military Affairs Committee
Phone 352-259-5507 E-mail: