I’m providing this alert for anyone interested in qualifying for VA pension benefits.

On September 18, the Veterans Administration (VA) published new rules that make it more difficult to qualify for this important benefit. For example, any gifts made in the past 36 months, either to a family member or to an irrevocable trust, would be penalized. Likewise, an investment in an annuity would also be penalized. This means a Veteran or surviving spouse could be prohibited from qualifying for VA pension benefits for up to 5 years, depending on the amount of the gift or transfer.

There are other requirements to the new rules, but the above are the most impactful to any wartime Veteran or surviving spouse wishing to pursue these benefits and receive a monthly cash benefit to help with care costs. 

The new rules go into effect on October 18, 2018, and you must have all planning to apply for the pension benefit, including the Aid and Attendance allowance, done before that date. The more lenient, existing rules expire on that date.