Social Security COLA Increase and Your VA Aid and Attendance

Many Veterans, surviving spouses, and dependents have received a letter from the Department of the VA stating, “We propose to reduce or terminate your VA Pension benefit payments effective January 1, 2020.” The 1.6% cost of living increase Social Security recipients receive could reduce your VA benefits. For your VA benefit to be unaffected, your Recurring Monthly Medical Expenses (Facility or caregiver costs, insurance premiums, long term care insurance premiums, etc.) must exceed your Gross monthly income.

If your benefits will be affected, that letter, or a follow up letter, will give you instructions regarding what to send the VA. Most likely, this will include proof of your Monthly Income and Recurring Monthly Medical Expenses. For many of our clients, your Care Contract payment is your primary recurring unreimbursed monthly medical expense. Don’t forget to include any interest or dividends you receive from banking accounts, life insurance policies, etc in the documentation of your income. Be sure to pay attention to the amount of time the VA allows you to respond – typically 60 days.