The Medicare program does not pay for long-term care, and given the fact that it is extraordinarily expensive this is a challenge for many senior citizens. However, Medicaid will pay for a stay in an assisted living community or a nursing home if you can qualify.
There is an upper financial resource limit of $2000 that you must stay within to become eligible. So, people will sometimes “spend down” in an effort to qualify for Medicaid.
But, there is a five-year look-back period. What this means is that you will be penalized if you intentionally divest yourself of resources within five years of applying for Medicaid.
Now there is a proposal in the Senate to impose a similar type of look-back period on veterans who are applying for the Veterans Aid & Attendance special pension.
This benefit is available to eligible veterans who need assistance with their day-to-day needs, and this would include those who are residing in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. There is an upper resource limit of $80,000, but there has been no look-back period so you can simply transfer your assets to someone else or place them into a trust without any penalty.
The Senate proposal would institute a three-year look-back period that veterans who are applying for this program must contend with.
Veterans benefits planning can be somewhat complex given the rules, especially when you combine these benefits with your civilian benefits. To discuss things with an expert, simply take a moment to arrange for a consultation with a licensed and experienced Hartford CT elder law attorney who is sensitive to the needs of former military service members.