The people who serve our country in the United States military are true heroes. Since 911, we have been very active around the world, and thousands upon thousands of our countrymen and women have put their lives on the line to preserve our freedoms here on American soil.
When people risk their lives and subject themselves to hardships for the benefit of others, there are really no words to describe the debt of gratitude that we owe them. Though it is certainly not enough, there are certain veterans benefits that veterans are entitled to, and this is somewhat of a reward for their service.
Most people are aware of the existence of the military retirement pension. If a person stays in the military for at least 20 years, the veteran is entitled to a pension. This can be very helpful when you are planning ahead for actual retirement.
The majority of people in the military join when they are young, so if you become eligible for a pension when you still have many working years ahead of you, there are options. Many people embark on careers in the private sector after they put in these 20 years, and they receive a pension while they are still working, and this can set them up for retirement during their senior years.
Another option exists. The longer you stay in the military, the higher your pension will be when you do in fact retire. Some people stay in the military until they are eligible for Social Security, and these folks are also in a good financial position going forward.
The retirement pension that a service member earns after at least 20 years of service is not the only type of pension that is offered as a military benefit. There is another pension that is often overlooked, but it can definitely be of great assistance if you are a wartime veteran who is in need of help with your activities of daily living as a senior citizen.
The benefit that we are referring to is the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension. To qualify for this pension, you must meet certain requirements as a former service member. One of them is the length of service requirement.
As we have mentioned previously, you have to serve for at least 20 years to become eligible for a retirement pension. When it comes to the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension, the length of service requirement is much different. An applicant must have at least 90 days of total active service, and at least one of these days must have taken place during a time of war.
You also have to be able to prove that you do in fact need help with your activities of daily living. These would be things like shopping, cooking, shaving, bathing, cleaning the house, etc. Medical proof must be presented, but we should point out one very important fact.
You do not have to have suffered the injury or illness that is limiting your activities during your military service. Regardless of the underlying cause, as long as you are medically incapable of handling all of your day-to-day needs on your own, you could potentially qualify for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension.
There is a third requirement that you should be aware of if you are interested in applying for this benefit. The pension is designed to assist veterans who have some degree of financial need. As a result, you have to provide financial information when you submit your application.
As a general rule of thumb, the limit on assets is $80,000 at the present time. However, when the Veterans Administration is evaluating your position, your home is not considered to be a countable asset. Your vehicle is not counted either, so there are a couple of big exemptions.
A single veteran who is eligible for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension can receive as much as $1788 each month, and an eligible couple can qualify for a maximum benefit of $2120 per month.
If you are a veteran who would like to learn more about how you can utilize your benefits during your senior years, our firm can help. We place an emphasis on Veterans Benefits planning, and we have done so for many years.
Our firm offers consultations on an ongoing basis, and veterans are always quite welcome.