One of the major differences between Medicaid and VA benefits (pension benefits known as “Aid and Attendance” that help pay for long term care), is that the VA does not have a look-back period for transfers of assets. When applying for benefits which will help pay for nursing home care through Medicaid, there is a look-back period of five (5) years, meaning that, if you gave gifts in the five years prior to filing for Medicaid, you will be penalized and not able to obtain benefits. The VA does not have such a requirement…..yet.
A bill has been introduced by Senator Ron Wyden (D – Ore) which he first presented last year. This would impose a 36 month (or three year) look-back for uncompensated transfers that a veteran, veteran’s spouse, veteran’s surviving spouse or child, otherwise eligible for the pension, would have made.
If this bill is made into law, it will take effect one year after enactment and would apply to pensions applied for or redeterminations after that date. What does this mean to those who have obtained benefits recently? If this law is passed, and they made gifts within the last three years prior to a redetermination, they could lose their benefits.
For more information about Veteran’s Affairs and benefits, please contact the Elder Law Offices of Law Ohall in Brandon, Florida today.