Call Us! 855-380-4400

Specializing in Affordable Care for Veterans

New VA Regulation Changes and How They Affect Veterans and Spouses

New VA rules went into effect on October 18, 2018. The VA’s ruling is based on changes that were proposed in 2015. Here at VCC, we realized that some of the proposed changes could have a negative impact on Veterans’ ability to receive the quality home care they not only need, but deserve.

Because we believed the proposed changes would cause more harm than good, we took action, testifying in front of the House of Representatives, and stating our case with Governor Jay Nixon’s office, Senator Roy Blunt’s office and Senator Claire McCaskill’s office. We campaigned across the country, encouraging our industry peers and fellow Americans to reach out to their elected officials and comment against the VA’s proposed laws.

After a long fight followed by three years of waiting — we are pleased with the VA’s final ruling. Here’s a breakdown of the top 4 changes.

 

 

  1. Higher Assets Limit

The net worth limit to qualify for pension has increased from a variable and approximate $80,000 to a fixed $123,600. This means certain factors, including life expectancy and rate of depletion of assets, will no longer be used to determine whether you’re eligible for the VA Pension. This rule will limit the amount of inconsistent and unfair decisions, expedite the decision process and allow Veterans to retain a reasonable portion of their assets to respond to unforeseen events, including medical care. This new limit will increase by the same percentage as the Social Security increase whenever there is a cost-of-living increase. You can check the current limit on the VA’s website.

 

  1. The Addition of a 3-Year Look-back Period

The VA has implemented a 36-month look-back period on asset transfers. This rule helps to protect you and your spouse from ‘pension poachers’ who take advantage of Veterans. It also forces financial advisors and elder law attorneys to take you through a penalty period before they can assist with pensions, further protecting your valuable assets.

 

  1. A Revised Definition of ADLs and IADLs

The Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) list has been revised to include ‘‘ambulating within the home or living area.” The original 1963 ADL list included bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, continence and feeding. The addition broadens the scope of assistance Veterans are able to receive. The final definition of “custodial care” has been revised to include assistance with ADLs and IADLs for Veterans suffering from dementia and other non-physical disorders who otherwise might not qualify for care.

  1. A Shorter Penalty Period

The original 10-year penalty period assessed when a Veteran transfers a covered asset has been reduced to a 5-year maximum. This change protects the integrity of the pension program, while avoiding the ‘‘permanent’’ denials that might have resulted with a 10-year maximum penalty, due to age and life expectancy. Only that portion of assets that would have made net worth exceed the $123,600 limit (see #3) is subject to penalty.

 

We’re grateful for the changes and believe this new ruling not only safeguards the integrity of the pension program, but better protects elderly Veterans and their spouses from being the target of financial schemes. For those of us dedicated to providing quality care to Veterans in need, this is great news!

If you have questions or are in need of assistance with the VA Pension, please contact the knowledgeable and friendly staff at Veterans Care Coordination™. Call today: 1-855-380-4400

Kyle Laramie, President

President, Founder at Veterans Care Coordination
After working in the field of occupational therapy, as well as various marketing, sales and management roles for both private duty nursing and assisted living providers, Kyle founded Veterans Care Coordination in April 2011. As president and owner of VCC, Kyle is driven by the memory of his grandfather. A World War II veteran, he unnecessarily missed out on essential VA benefits because Kyle’s family simply did not know about the opportunities that were available to assist him in his golden years.

Under Kyle’s leadership, Veterans Care Coordination has become one of the fastest growing senior service companies in the United States. Partnering with health care providers throughout the U.S., VCC serves more than 1000 clients in 45 states. The company currently employs more than 65 professionals.

In January 2014, Kyle was named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s prestigious “40 Under 40” list. The St. Louis Small Business Monthly also named him as one of the “100 St. Louisans to Know” in 2014. In 2015, Kyle was selected as one of ten national finalists for the 2015 Glenn Shepard Leadership Award. In addition, in September 2013, Veterans Care Coordination was honored by the St. Louis Small Business Monthly as one of the “Top 20” small businesses in the St. Louis area, in 2014 the company was honored as a finalist for the Arcus Awards and by the St. Louis Post Dispatch for being a Top Workplace.

Kyle is an accredited claims agent by the Department of Veterans Affairs. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of veterans’ benefits, addressing conferences such as the Home Care Association of America and the Northeast Home care Conference. Kyle currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging and has been previously involved with the St. Louis Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. He resides in Lake St. Louis, Mo. with his wife and twin boys. In his spare time, Kyle is an avid tennis player.