Contributed by: Sandra Adams, CFP®
As we honor our servicemen and women, it is a good time to be mindful of valuable financial benefits that military veterans may be eligible for, but not aware of – namely Service Related Disability Compensation and Veteran’s Pensions (and Aid and Attendance Benefits for Long Term Care needs).
Disability Compensation is a tax free financial benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred during active military service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to military service. Compensation is tied to the degree of disability and is designed to compensate for considerable loss of working time. There is also a tax free Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefit payable to a surviving spouse, child or dependent parents of Service members who died while in active duty or training, or survivors of Veterans who died from their service-connected disabilities.
Veteran’s Pension benefits may be available for Veterans or dependent family members who need to pay for health care expense and certain other living expenses. The pension benefit is a needs based program and is based on income and asset requirements set by Congress.
General Eligibility Requirements:
- Must have served at least 90 days active duty service, at least one day during a wartime period, AND
- Must be 65 or older, OR
- Must be totally and permanently disabled, OR
- A patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, OR
- Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, OR
- Receiving Supplementary Security Income
Veterans or surviving spouses who are eligible for VA pensions and are housebound or require the aid and attendance of another persona may be eligible for an additional monetary payment. Applying may require the counsel of a VA counselor or an Elder Law attorney knowledgeable about Veteran’s Benefits.
In addition to these two major financial benefits, the VA provides assistance for Veteran’s with housing, education, insurance and other areas of concern and interest for Veteran’s. If you are a military Veteran and are not aware of the benefits you might be eligible for, contact your local Veteran’s Service Agency today. And remember to mention to your financial planner that you are a military Veteran – the benefits you might be eligible for could be an important piece in your overall planning puzzle!
Sandra Adams, CFP® is a Partner and Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® Sandy specializes in Elder Care Financial Planning and is a frequent speaker on related topics. In addition to her frequent contributions to Money Centered, she is regularly quoted in national media publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Research Magazine and Journal of Financial Planning.
The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Sandra Adams, CFP® and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.