Ohio Elder Law Attorney Explains Asset Limits and Qualifications for Veterans Benefits
May 28th, 2012
In Ohio, elder law attorneys commonly say that asset limits for VA benefits are $80,000 for a couple and $50,000 a single vet or widowed spouse of a vet. But qualifications for veterans’ benefits are actually more complicated than that.
The actual asset limitation figures are not set in stone and depend on several factors. While the $80,000 and $50,000 figures are a beginning point, the claimant’s age and life expectancy will also play a significant role. The older a claimant is and the fewer years he or she is expected to live, the lower the asset threshold will be. The VA assumes that individuals closer to death will need fewer assets to get them through their final days and that any extra assets can be used to fund their care needs.
Unfortunately, there is no way of determining exactly how much total asset value is too much to qualify for VA benefits. While $80,000 for a couple and $50,000 for a single claimant is a good starting guideline, each case is determined individually by the claimant’s caseworker. For this reason, we highly recommend getting the help of an Ohio elder law attorney when applying for veterans’ benefits.
Ohio Elder Law Attorney Details Qualifications for Veterans’ Benefits
VA benefits may be claimed by either the veteran who qualifies for them or by the veteran’s widowed spouse. Qualifications for veterans’ benefits for veterans or their widowed spouse are below:
- Veteran must have served at least 90 consecutive days active duty with at least one day of active duty during a qualified war period
- Veteran must have had an other than “dishonorable” discharge
- Claimant’s doctor must declare him or her as “housebound” and in need of assistance from another individual, which may include services offered by assisted living
- Claimant and spouse should have less than $80,000 in household assets, excluding primary home, car and personal belongings. If assets total more than $50,000, it’s best to speak with an Ohio elder law attorney for assistance in qualifying.
- Claimant’s household out-of-pocket yearly medical expenses, including assisted living expenses, must exceed or come close to his or her total yearly household gross income
- If claimant is vet’s widowed spouse, spouse must have been married to the veteran for at least one year, or have had children by the veteran if married less than one year, and never remarried
- A widowed spouse claimant must have been living with the veteran at the time of the veteran’s death, unless the separation was due to medical or military reasons
Because of the strict qualifications for veterans’ benefits, applying for VA benefits is best done with the assistance of a knowledgeable Ohio elder law attorney. In Ohio, the elder law firm of Gudorf Law Group, LLC, can assist in obtaining veterans benefits. Call Ohio elder law attorney Ted Gudorf at 1-877-483-6730 to schedule a free consultation.