VA Benefits

VA Benefits

Brown, Bauman, and Smith is VA-accredited law firm, with a 94% success rate getting our clients the benefits they deserve. We take pride in helping our veterans understand the process of qualifying for benefits, and work every day to ensure our clients get the benefits they’re entitled to receive. If you need an advocate to represent you with VA benefits, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Our Success Rate

We have a 94% success rate getting veterans the benefits they deserve. We are committed to helping our clients understand VA Benefits and how to get the benefits they’re entitled to receive.

We have a 94% success rate getting veterans the benefits they deserve. We are committed to helping our clients understand VA Benefits and how to get the benefits they’re entitled to receive.

94%

Our Success Rate

We have a 94% success rate getting veterans the benefits they deserve. We are committed to helping our clients understand VA Benefits and how to get the benefits they’re entitled to receive.

We have a 94% success rate getting veterans the benefits they deserve. We are committed to helping our clients understand VA Benefits and how to get the benefits they’re entitled to receive.

94%

Common Questions about VA Benefits

What is the maximum benefit amount I can receive?

Single Veteran = $1,912 per month

Married Veteran = $2,266 per month

Surviving Spouse = $1,228 per month

What are the eligibility requirements for VA benefits?

The Veteran must have served on active duty for at least 90 days with at least 1 of those days being served during a defined War Time period. In addition, the Veteran or Surviving Spouse must be 65 or older.

 

EXCEPTION IF YOU ARE UNDER 65: You must be permanently disabled; OR receiving skilled nursing care; OR receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”); OR receiving Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”).

What are the defined War Time periods?

World War II: December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946, extended to July 25, 1947.

 

Korean War: June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955

 

Vietnam War: For Veterans physically in Vietnam {Feb. 1, 1961- May 7, 1975}

 

For Veterans stateside {August 5, 1964-May 7, 1975}

 

Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990 through the current date (this period has not ended)

 

**A Veteran need not have served in a combat zone, stateside only is okay.

Who is considered a Surviving Spouse?

A spouse who was married to a Veteran when he/she passed away.

What if I wasn’t honorably discharged?

We may be able to upgrade your discharge. Then you will be eligible to apply for benefits.

Can I apply for this if I’m already awarded 100% VA disability?

It would not make sense. The 100% VA disability benefit pays more than this benefit.

What if I am not 100% disabled, but far less, should I apply?

Yes, the award difference is what you will receive.

Can I qualify if I don’t have any health issues or conditions?

Yes, that is why we submit the dual application for “Improved Pension/Aid & Attendance.

I couldn’t get approved to receive a hearing aid from the VA. Do you think I will still have a chance of getting approved?

That is a completely separate benefit and division of the VA. Most people are only familiar with the health benefits side of the VA. The VA has its own rules to qualify for that program. This is not a health benefit. This is a monthly pension income stream that direct deposits into the same account as your Social Security. You may use this money to pay for that hearing aid you didn’t get.

If I am approved, do I have to pay taxes on this new income?

No, this is non-taxable income.

Are the benefit payments retroactive?

Yes. It may take some time to get you qualified and have your benefit approved by the VA. Once you are fully qualified and the VA approves your benefit, you will receive a lump-sum payment that is for the time between your application date and when you were approved. Another date earlier than the application date may apply if additional steps are taken. We can discuss those.

I actually have heard about VA Pension with Aid and Attendance and called the local VA, but they turned me away saying I could not qualify?

One reason is that Veterans Service Representatives (“VSRs”) in the local regional office, those whose job it is to deal with the public, will tell callers that Pension is only available to Veterans with low income. This is not entirely correct. VSRs turn away many potential applicants. This may be because the VSRs are not always trained in a way to understand the special cases of Veterans with higher income and expensive long term care costs. A second reason VSRs may turn callers away is if they have saved significant assets. This also is not an entirely correct response. The VA’s own rules allow to rearrange assets in order to qualify for benefits. Naturally, VSRs may not know to mention this as an option.

What is the asset limit to be approved for benefits?

$129,094. Once your financial assets exceed that amount, the VA allows you to transfer excess assets to a trust in order to qualify for benefits. NOTE: Your house will not be counted as an asset if it is on land that is 2 acres or smaller. Your car and several other items will also not count.

Is there a look-back period for transfers?

Yes, for applicants with over $129,094, there is a 3-year look-back period. The VA accesses a waiting period based on the amount over $129,094 that was transferred within 3-years prior to application to allow you eligibility. There is a calculation that yields how many months an applicant must wait before they receive their benefits.

I am only 62, should I start planning now?

If you have more than $129,094, then yes. Since there is a 3-year look back period, you want to be eligible the day you turn 65.

Does a trust change my investments or move them away from my financial advisor?

Your investments can stay the same and at the same financial institution. The only difference is the title of the account.

 

For example, a couple has a joint brokerage account may be retitled it as a trust, e.g., “The John and Jane Smith Trust” account.

A few years ago I filled out all the paperwork and I got denied, can that be fixed?

It could have been a mistake on one of your forms; errors are easy to make and may cause a rejection OR, you may have been denied because your financial assets were over the limit and you did not do the type of planning needed. We can help you plan now, and help you become eligible for benefits.

What if I already have a trust?

Like Baskin Robins, there are 31 plus varieties of trusts. Trusts are created for different reasons. We will need to look at your trust to know if it is the type of trust that can help you qualify for the benefit.

Contact us about your VA benefits today

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