Our law office is accredited to assist veterans to apply for VA benefits. We do this as a service, in conjunction with related legal services, particularly for elders who are disabled and need to structure their assets in a trust in order to then be able to claim their Assisted Living Facility expenses as a medical expense. There are other types of benefits that an elder may want to pursue, whether they are a veteran or a surviving spouse of a veteran. Although the process can be drawn out, it is well worth pursuing, particularly if the applicant is disabled and in need of at least two Assisted Daily Living services from a caregiver. We use the Well Developed Claim method of submitting applications to the VA in an effort to obtain quicker results.
The veteran or surviving spouse of a veteran may need to establish an irrevocable trust in order to shelter their home and assets from being counted by the VA, so that they may then qualify for benefits. There are changes going on in the VA that are making this more difficult, however, it can be done if the grantor has the foresight to establish such a trust. The EIN number must not be a Social Security number, which necessitates the trust being taxed at a higher rate. An irrevocable Medicaid Trust could be used for planning purposes, and if the elder becomes disabled to the extent that applying for VA benefits is desirable, our firm could then decant the Medicaid Trust into a VA Protection Trust. The Medicaid Trust has a lower tax bracket and starts the five year look back period, in the event that Medicaid may need to be applied for on the elder’s behalf.
Our law office handles VA Applications pro bono, provided other legal services are selected in addition to these applications. The applications must be completed pro bono, however, preparation for the application, such as establishing a trust, or filing an appeal in the event that the application is denied, are VA related legal services that we do charge for.
The main reason we handle VA Benefits for our clients is because we are an Elder law practice that has many veterans and their spouses coming to us, looking for options for Long Term Care and Assisted Living Planning, as well as Estate Planning. Although there are many other VA related legal services that veterans and their families may need, our practice concentrates on helping elder veterans. When an application is denied, we can file an appeal and offer this service to our clients.