On April 7, 2013 Senator Ron Wyden proposed the Veterans Pension Protection Act, which would require a three year look back period for those applying for veteran’s pension benefits including Aid & Attendance. Aid & Attendance is offered to veteran’s and their surviving spouses to help pay for the care of an aid for assistance with activities of daily living, whether at home or in a facility. In order to receive this benefit the veteran or spouse cannot have more than $80,000 in assets. Many people transfer their assets into trusts or annuities in order to qualify for these benefits. However, Senator Wyden’s goal is to impose a look back period, similar to the one for Medicaid eligibility, so that people who transfer assets within a 36 month period from when they apply, will not immediately qualify for the benefit. The act calls for a penalty period that will be determined by taking the total amount of assets transferred during those 36 months and dividing that by the maximum monthly pension benefit payable to the veteran or spouse. In addition, the married couple will be considered one unit. Therefore, any asset transfers made by one partner will affect the look back and penalty period of the other partner as well. According to Senator Wyden the Veterans Pension Protection Act is, “aimed at ending abuses of a low-income veteran’s pension program” and will “ensure that only applicants in need receive the Aid & Attendance veteran’s pensions.” The bill was forwarded to the congressional Committee on Veteran’s Affairs and they will need to approve it before it can be officially passed.
To view the proposed bill in it’s entirety click the following: Veterans Pension Protection Act