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VA Aid and Attendance Benefits Asset Rules

Are all wartime veterans eligible for Aid and Attendance Benefits? No, the VA considers a veteran’s, or surviving spouse’s, net worth when deciding if they are eligible for Aid and Attendance long term care benefits.

Aid and Attendance pension benefits help Veterans or their surviving spouses[i] who need long term care at home or in an assisted living facility.

What is Net Worth?

For VA purposes, net worth includes the countable assets of the veteran and spouse, plus their net income of both spouses. (The income for VA purposes does not include qualified unreimbursed medical expenses). The primary residence including up to 2 acres of land is not countable, even if it is not occupied by the veteran or spouse. The net worth limit in 2020 is $129,094. The limit is the same for a single veteran, married veteran, or surviving spouse of a veteran.

Look Back and Penalty Periods

The VA will assess a penalty period for transfers of assets made within 3 years of applying for benefits, if fair market value was not received for the asset transferred. Benefits will not be paid during the penalty period. However, transfers occurring before October 18, 2018 will not create a penalty period.

Aid and Attendance benefits and Medicaid benefits both help pay for long term care costs. But strategies to become eligible for one program may make a veteran or their surviving spouse ineligible for the other program.

What does this mean for you?

The elder law attorneys at Hale Ball PLC offer long term care planning consultations to help you understand how the conflicting rules of public benefits programs apply to your unique situation, and what to do if you or a loved one needs, or is likely to need, long term care services. Contact our Fairfax, Virginia office today.


[i] This summary focuses only on veterans and widow/widowers. There are provisions for other dependents.

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