Who Wants to Go to a Nursing Home: Good News for Assisted Living!

This month I want to comment on an exciting area of Elder Law that is not well known: Veterans’ Benefits.  Why is this area so significant?  Because roughly a third of seniors who are candidates for long-term care are either veterans or widows of veterans.  None of these persons wants to go to a nursing home if they need long-term-care.  However, Medicaid will only pay for a nursing home, it will not pay for an assisted living facility.  As a consequence, many feel they have no choice.  Nevertheless, most of these veterans do not realize that they can qualify for an “Aid & Attendance” pension.  The amounts obtainable are these:


Monthly Payment

Annual Payment







Surviving Spouse



Assisted living centers typically charge between $2000-$4000 per month.  Thus, many of these persons would not be able to afford the monthly rate without the veterans’ benefit (because they have only $500-$1500 in Social Security and pension).  With these benefits, most can qualify.

What are the rules in this area?  They are similar to those for Medicaid.  There is an asset and income test.  However, the rules are not as strict and qualification is relatively easy to obtain through the use of trusts and other similar devices.  Furthermore, when implementing a plan to qualify for assisted living through veterans’ benefits the elder law attorney can also prepare the person to be qualified for Medicaid.  This a prudent step since there is always the possibility that the assisted living care will not be sufficient at some point and a nursing home will be necessary (although many assisted living facilities boast that they can keep the resident under most circumstances until the end of their life).

Heritage Elder Law & Planning is on the cutting edge of this important area of law and prepared to help you protect and inform your clients.  We have a brochure available on this topic and will be willing to send it to you at no cost.  Simply write or e-mail us and mention your request.

Contact us today to receive a free strategy session with an experienced elder law attorney.