A new website has been launched to help veterans appeal a denial of VA benefits on their own or request a free attorney to help with the appeal. The website, at vetsprobono.org, was launched by two organizations: the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, which provides free legal counsel to veterans and their families, and Pro Bono.. read more →

Pension Benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for Non-Service Connected Disabilities The VA Pension is a disability benefits program available to compensate veterans for non-service-connected disabilities. Like the VA compensation program, the pension program is based upon disability. However, unlike the VA compensation program, the pension program is also based on income and.. read more →

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Social Security Administration and other state and federal agencies have released the following important numbers for 2017. MEDICARE Medicare Part A deductible: $1316 for each benefit period. Medicare Part A co-payments for hospital stays: Day 1-60: $0 co-payment for each benefit.. read more →

Question: Will the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognize the cost of care provided by an unlicensed caregiver as an expense in determining the financial eligibility of an applicant for VA pension benefits? Answer: The VA WILL recognize the cost of care provided by an unlicensed caregiver as an allowable expense in determining the financial eligibility.. read more →

The Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) has launched a number of mobile apps aimed at improving the lives of veterans and making VA more accessible. Currently, VA has 16 apps available through the Apple store and six apps available on Android’s Google Play. These apps help veterans manage their PTSD, pressure ulcers, preconception care and.. read more →

On November 15, 2016, I presented at the Second Annual Caring for Caregivers Conference at the East Rutherford Community Center. The first section of my presentation focused on guardianship law in New Jersey, Public Benefit Basics, and the use of special needs trusts by parents of adult disabled children. The powerpoint slides from the first part.. read more →

Government Long-Term Care Benefits for NJ Residents 908-232-7400 The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli provides comprehensive Government Long-Term Care Benefits Legal Services throughout the State of New Jersey. See: http://vanarellilaw.com/medicaid-public-benefits-planning/ Elder Law topics covered in the video include Eligibility for Medicaid, Income and Resource Limits and Caps, Medicare Coverage, Home Health Aides, Home Health Care, Nursing Home.. read more →

(Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. in the midst of oral argument before the New Jersey Supreme Court. A video of the entire oral argument can be found on the Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli website.) ‘Elder and Disability Law Update’ and ‘Veteran Benefits Workshop’ to be presented by leading NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning.. read more →

The 17th Annual Elder Law Retreat, presented by the New Jersey State Bar Association Elder and Disability Law Section, was held on April 21 – 23, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA. At least two significant events occurred at the Retreat this year. First, I was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing my “advocacy in elder and.. read more →

On January 23, 2015, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued proposed regulations related to the administration of its needs-based pension program. The proposed new rules impose many new detrimental restrictions on wartime Veterans and their families. The proposed new rules include the following changes:    VA Proposal: A three-year look-back on gifts and other transfers.. read more →

Here are checks from the State of New Jersey issued to plaintiffs’ counsel as a result of the award of attorneys fees granted by the federal court in the Galletta v. Velez class action lawsuit:: As I reported in an earlier blog post, earlier this month a Consent Order was filed in federal district court in New.. read more →

In February 2015, a Consent Order was filed in New Jersey federal district court, concluding a hard-fought class action lawsuit. In the Order, the State of New Jersey agreed to amend its Medicaid program on a State-Wide basis to exclude pension benefits paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) when determining an applicant’s eligibility for.. read more →

On January 23, 2015, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published proposed regulations in the Federal Register which, if adopted, would amend its rules governing entitlement to VA pension benefits. The VA says the intention of the proposed changes is “to maintain the integrity of VA’s needs-based benefit programs, and to clarify and address issues.. read more →

Historically, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does not release the new pension rates until January or February of the following year. Thus, the new pension rates for 2015 have not been released officially yet. However, aged and disabled veterans who receive VA pension benefits will receive a marginal increase in their benefit checks in the.. read more →

On December 12, 2014, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 (NDAA). Among other provisions in the NDAA, Section 624 protects the disabled children of military families by allowing their parents’ survivor benefits to go into a special needs trust. This new law permits a disabled child to benefit from a parent’s military.. read more →

The following notice appeared in the November 15, 2014 RAO Bulletin: To align VA’s healthcare program with the financial assessment requirements for other federal healthcare programs, the VA has approved a process change to cease collection of veterans’ net worth information for purposes of means testing for health benefits. Effective Jan. 1, 2015, VA will.. read more →

Hon. Robert B. Kugler, United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey, reversed a denial of an application for Medicaid benefits by ruling that a pension benefit from the Department of Veterans Affairs (“DVA”) may not be counted as income for the purposes of any Medicaid program to the extent that the DVA.. read more →

Although the petitioner in this case, A.G., succeeded in obtaining Medicaid benefits after filing a complaint in federal court (which I’ve blogged about in the past here, here and here), the State of New Jersey recently denied benefits back to the date of the original application after an administrative appeal was filed in the state.. read more →

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About Veterans Pension Who Can Help Me Fill Out the Forms? Any non-accredited individual may assist with completing the forms; however, this individual is allowed to assist ONLY one person. A VA accredited organization, such as your local State Veterans Office, VFW, or American Legion, etc. may help you, as.. read more →

I. The Facts. Plaintiff, Alma Galletta, who suffers from a variety of medical impairments, is the surviving spouse of a World War II veteran. Over two years ago, plaintiff began receiving pension benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA pension benefits are payable to a surviving spouse based on the veteran’s non-service-connected death. .. read more →

General Qualifications for Non-Service Connected Pension Plus Aid and Attendance Supplement Veterans, Widowed Spouses, and Dependent or Disabled Children May be Claimants. The eligibility requirements follow: Veterans Must Typically Have Served At Least 90 Days of Active Duty Service, 1 Day of Which Had to Have Been Served During A Period of Wartime (Those Who.. read more →

It iis quite common for family members or others to provide monetary support to a loved one in financial need who has applied for or is receiving pension benefits with either Housebound or Aid & Attendance supplement from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This contribution of money by family members is called “family maintenance.”.. read more →

In a recent opinion, Hon. Robert B. Kugler, United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey, denied a motion filed by the State of New Jersey seeking the dismissal of a pending class action lawsuit which my co-counsel, Alan Sklarsky, Esq., and I filed in federal court seeking an injunction barring the State.. read more →

On October 31, 2013, proposed changes to the process of filing disability claims and appeals with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) were published in the Federal Register. The Federal Register notice can be found here. The proposed changes, which are significant, relate to the filing of informal claims and notices of disagreements. There are.. read more →

Clients often have questions about the effect of gifts and jointly-owned property on eligibility for benefits, including Base Pension, Housebound and Aid and Attendance, from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Below I’ve collected some of the federal regulations governing how gifts and joint property will affect VA pension benefits. The authorities cited show that.. read more →