422 North Northwest Highway, B-5
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068

Veterans Benefit

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Unexpected Veterans Benefit

Linda and her daughter Nicole visited the office of an elder law attorney. Nicole was concerned because her mom recently entered an assisted living facility and did not have sufficient income to pay the monthly cost. Linda only had $90,000 in assets and her monthly shortfall to the assisted living facility was $1,300. Linda knew her assets would not last long and she wanted to make sure she had as many options as possible.

After a brief conversation with the attorney, she discovered that Linda’s husband was a veteran of the Korean War. Even though Linda’s husband died eight years ago, the attorney was excited to tell them that Linda may be eligible for a little known but important benefit of up to $1,094 per month from the Veterans Administration. Linda was confused as her husband was not retired military. She had talked to the Veterans Administration and was advised no benefit was available to her. The attorney explained that the benefit was for veterans or their surviving spouse to help pay medically-related expenses, and while Linda was not currently qualified for the benefit, the attorney told her that with some simple planning, she could be eligible in less than 30 days.

In order to qualify for this benefit, three criteria must be met. First, the veteran (Linda’s husband) must have served a minimum of 90 days in active duty. Linda was confident this requirement had been met. The second requirement was that at least one of the 90 days of active duty must have been served during wartime. Since Linda’s husband served in the Korean War, she was confident he had met that condition. The third requirement was that Linda must be able to meet certain income and asset criteria. Linda became concerned because the attorney told her that she had too much money to qualify. He did assure her that with some simple planning, she would be eligible within 30 days. Linda was ecstatic. She began planning with the attorney immediately and he assisted her in applying for benefits the next month. Linda now receives $1,094 each month from the Veterans Administration to help pay for her assisted living care. Linda was relieved to know that the benefit would continue even if she was able to return home. Both Linda and Nicole were thrilled that they were able to preserve Linda’s assets and provide her with many options for the long term.

A surviving spouse, who qualifies for this Veterans’ Aid and Attendance Benefit, normally would receive $1,094 per month as a surviving spouse of a veteran. A single or widowed veteran may receive up to $1,704 per month. If the veteran is married, he or she can receive up to $2,020 per month.


Thomas J. Hansen, LTD. assists clients in Park Ridge, Cook County, IL as well as Niles, Des Plaines, Glenview, Norridge, and Rosemont.

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