The Treasury Department and the four major benefit agencies, the Social Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Railroad Retirement Board, are jointly releasing new rules which prevent banks from seizing Social Security and other federal benefits from customers facing debt collectors. The new rules would.. read more →

The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs owns and operates three nursing homes in New Jersey, referred to as the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Homes (“NJ Veterans Nursing Homes”). The three NJ Veterans Nursing Homes are located in Paramus, Edison and Vineland. These are state facilities, governed by the state regulations found in.. read more →

Following is an exchange posted on a electronic bulletin board devoted to the discussion of issues involving pension and compensation claims submitted to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): Question: My client applied for pension benefits from the VA. The client was deemed medically qualified for VA Aid and Attendance benefits, but denied pension benefits.. read more →

David L. Henderson joined the military in 1950, and was discharged while on active duty in 1952 after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He was awarded service-connected compensation with a 100% disability rating. In 2001, Henderson applied to a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regional office for special monthly compensation for in-home care related to.. read more →

A growing number of my elder law clients have asked me whether the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) considers assets transferred to various types of revocable and irrevocable trusts in determining eligibility for Improved Pension and Aid and Attendance benefits. The answer depends in large part upon the type of trust into which assets are.. read more →

Following is a news release about the Department of Veterans Affairs new initiative to fast track Agent Orange claims: WASHINGTON (March 9, 2010) – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today an aggressive new initiative to solicit private-sector input on a proposed “fast track” Veterans’ claims process for service-connected presumptive illnesses due to Agent.. read more →

Lately, I have seen a deceptive business practice beginning in New Jersey and the Northeastern states which, until recently, was largely confined to California and other western states. That is, the practice by certain companies of presenting themselves as non-profit organizations dedicated to assisting veterans by offering to prepare a veteran’s application for Aid and.. read more →

Agent Orange was an herbicide sprayed in Southeast Asia and other locations during the Vietnam Era. Exposure to Agent Orange has been related to many serious diseases, such as prostate cancer, lung cancer, larynx cancer, trachea cancer, bronchus cancer, multiple myeloma, Hodgkin’s disease, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, soft tissue sarcoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and type 2 diabetes… read more →

An amendment to a military act gives spouses of military personnel new residency rights, creating income and estate tax planning opportunities for military families. Because military families move, on average, every three years, the families often have to pay taxes in a new state or locality and lose the right to vote in the place.. read more →

Believe it or not, until a few months ago not a single court had ever held that a veteran “has a constitutional right to have his claim for veteran’s disability benefits decided according to fundamentally fair procedures.” This patently obvious right was finally recognized by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.. read more →

On October 13, 2009, Secretary Eric K. Shinseki of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) decided to establish service connection for Vietnam veterans with three conditions: Parkinson’s, B cell leukemias, and ischemic heart disease.  These join the already established conditions of: * diabetes type II * acute and sub-acute peripheral neuropathy * chloracne and porphyria.. read more →

Family members in search of sources of funding of long-term care costs for loved ones who can no longer live independently are repeatedly given misinformation about the effect of Aid and Attendance (“A&A”) benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) on future eligibility for Medicaid. For example, staff at assisted living facilities often warn.. read more →

Funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been late in getting approved by Congress in 20 of the last 23 years, which has affected the planning of veterans’ health care programs. This month, the President signed into law H.R. 1016, an act entitled The Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of.. read more →

Parkinson’s Disease, B Cell Leukemias and Ischemic Heart Disease Recognized WASHINGTON, October 13, 2009 – Relying on an independent study by the Institute of Medicine, Eric K. Shinseki, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA),  established a presumption of service-connection for Vietnam Veterans suffering from three specific illnesses based on the latest evidence of.. read more →

Here is a unique idea from attorney/VA benefits estate planner Dale M. Krause on how a war-time veteran can reduce his or her net worth in order to attain eligibility for Veterans Improved Pension with either the Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefit supplement through the purchase of a Single-Premium Immediate Annuity, or SPIA: For.. read more →

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has produced a free pamphlet which gives a useful, “down and dirty” summary of all  benefits and services offered by the VA. The pamphlet also gives toll-free phone numbers where applicants can get assistance, and the address for internet access to the VA’s website.  (By the way, the VA has.. read more →

Following is an exchange posted on a electronic bulletin board devoted to the discussion of issues involving pension and compensation claims submitted to the Veterans Administration (VA): Q – How does the VA treat a resident of a continual care retirement community (CCRC) with regard to assets, income, and medical expenses when evaluating a claim.. read more →

Eligibility for improved pension benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including housebound benefits and aid and attendance benefits, is based, in large part, upon financial need. The VA considers an applicant’s income and resources (called the allowable “net worth” of the applicant), among other factors. However, there is no formula published by the.. read more →

Based upon comments I’ve read on blogs throughout the blogosphere, there appears to be a great deal of confusion about about three issues involving VA benefits: who can assist a veteran or veteran’s family with a claim for VA benefits; who can charge a fee for providing assistance to a veteran; and, when can the veteran be charged a fee?.. read more →

According to an article in the July 14th edition of the New York Times, a flood of veterans, young and old, are seeking disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for psychological and physical injuries connected to their military service. The backlog of unprocessed claims for those disabilities is now over 400,000, up.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. is honored to have received accreditation by the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) to prepare, present and prosecute claims for veterans before the VA. Accreditation refers to the authority granted by the VA to those attorneys who meet the standards established by the VA. The VA’s stated purpose in requiring attorney.. read more →

Burial benefits from the Veterans Administration (VA) are payable only under certain conditions (see below from the excellent website maintained by the VA). You may be eligible for a VA burial allowance if: you paid for a veteran’s burial or funeral, AND you have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source,.. read more →

An accredited VA attorney is an attorney who has been granted the authority by the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) to prepare, present and prosecute claims for veterans benefits before the VA. Accreditation refers to the authority granted by the VA to those attorneys who meet the standards established by the VA. VA’s stated purpose.. read more →

A May 27, 2009 Administrative Law decision in Georgia addresses the impact of Veteran’s Administration (“VA”) Improved Pension with Aid and Attendance benefits on Medicaid eligibility. M.W. v. Georgia Department of Human Resources, reprinted here, concerns a nursing home resident who was the surviving spouse of a veteran and who was receiving Improved Pension with.. read more →

I copied the following dialogue from an elder law / estate planning listserv in which the participants were discussing strategies that they claimed veterans could use to qualify for VA Aid and Attendance benefits. Do you think the suggested strategies would work? Q – Does anyone have knowledge or experience on how the VA is.. read more →