Understanding Veterans Benefits

The VA provides many benefits to those who qualify, but applicants often face roadblocks when applying to certain programs.  You or your loved one may be eligible for certain benefits with complicated tests that you must meet in order to qualify. For this reason, it is important to understand what benefits the VA provides, as well as the obstacles associated with the programs.

The VA is divided into three branches: the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), and the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). The VHA provides quality healthcare, clinic, and hospital services with comparable wait times to that of civilian providers. The NCA provides memorial and burial benefits (such as flags and headstones) with little delay when our heroes die.  Finally, the VBA is responsible for providing Veterans benefits for two types of claims: 1) in-service connected disabilities and 2) pensions for senior Veterans who were on active duty during a war period (such as WWII, Korea, or Vietnam).  Unlike the others, the VBA pension section often takes up to one year to approve or deny applicants’ claims.

Our firm most often helps seniors applying for the VA pension benefit, as the rules for this “means-tested” program are complicated; if you do not get professional assistance, it is likely that the VBA will deny your claim.  In addition to confusing application forms, the pension program, often called “Aid and Attendance,” requires applicants to meet both an income and asset test to qualify. While many groups offer assistance applying, they do not always understand these tests and can cause your application to be denied as a result.  Be sure to consult an experienced Elder Law attorney who is a VA Accredited Advisor, and who understands the VA pension program before you submit your application.

If you or your loved one believes that you may be eligible for Veterans benefits, be sure to contact an experienced Elder Law attorney. Our attorneys are VA Accredited Advisors; call W.G. Alexander & Associates today to make an appointment!

Attorney Bill Alexander discusses these issues and more every Tuesday morning on W.G. Alexander & Associates’ radio program, “Asset Protection Today,” on TalkRadio 850 WPTK (AM). Be sure to listen tomorrow  from 9:00-10:00 AM.  To listen to last week’s show, please visit WPTF’s on demand show blog by clicking here.