Veterans Administration Benefits
Medicaid planning is complicated, and so is navigating veterans administration benefits. Combining the two can be a nightmare for anyone in an atypical situation or for those with too many assets to qualify for VA and Medicaid programs. Our veterans have served and protected us, and we believe they deserve every benefit they are entitled to. The veterans aid and attendance benefit can provide upwards of $2,200 a month toward unreimbursed medical expenses to veterans and their spouses. Our job at Millman Law Group is to navigate the messy web of VA benefits and Medicaid requirements to create a plan that puts you in the best possible financial situation in the long term.
We help veterans and their families prepare for and manage their veterans aid and attendance benefits by helping them understand and navigate the program while combining it with Medicaid. For married couples who meet certain requirements, one spouse can receive VA benefits while the other uses Medicaid. This allows for a level of flexibility that can be surprisingly useful in long-term care planning.
Anyone who qualifies for VA benefits must apply for those first. This is a Medicaid requirement, but VA benefits rarely cover the cost of a nursing home, however, and those who qualify for VA benefits usually apply for Medicaid as well. With careful Medicaid planning you can qualify for both.
After qualifying for Medicaid benefits in a nursing home, however, most VA benefits are reduced to around $90/month. There are also niche exceptions to VA benefit reductions, such as a health spouse having routine medical expenses that need to be paid for.
Choosing the Right Fit
One of the factors we consider when creating a Medicaid planning or long-term care planning. for those who also qualify for VA benefits is: Where will they be receiving care? As a rule of thumb, VA benefits are usually better for in-home assistance and assisted living, and Medicaid is better for nursing home care. This is because although Medicaid does cover assisted living and in-home care, they are not entitlement programs. Even if you qualify for the care, you may not receive it because there are limited spots in the program and waitlists to join.
Nursing homes, meanwhile, are the most expensive option for elders in need of care, and VA benefits rarely cover the cost. This makes Medicaid the better option for those. In Florida the largest benefit individuals may receive from Medicaid is for nursing home and institutional care, however the waivers provided by the Medicaid home and community based services program can also provide certain benefits in an assisted living facility or home care. There are also strict income and asset limitations for each program which not every client will fit in to. In contrast, veterans aid and attendance benefits can provide monthly payments to a veteran or the spouse (whether the veteran is deceased or not) towards the cost of unreimbursed medical expenses including home care or assisted living costs.
Navigating the Application Process
Though they may seem similar at a glance, the Veterans Administration and Medicaid do not have the same requirements or income limits for their programs. This is one of the reasons it can be important to enlist the help of a good elder-law specialist before applying. Wait times for approval are also drastically different. VA benefits can take between 6-12 months to approve while Medicaid only takes 30-60 days. VA benefits are retroactive to the application date, which makes it critical to apply as soon as possible.
At Millman Law Group, we help you create a robust Medicaid plan and help you with the application process so that you don’t have to worry about long wait times or income limits as you age.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
If you qualify for VA benefits and are looking for help navigating the muddy waters between the VA and Medicaid, give us a call. We offer free consultations where we establish the needs of your specific financial situation and the goals you have for your care to create the best possible solution and protect your assets.