In recent presentations to staff at assisted living facilities, I was told that staff members hesitated to recommend to appropriate facility residents that they should apply for Veteran’s Administration (VA) Aid & Attendance benefits, even when the residents had limited income and/or resources and would financially benefit from the additional income that the VA benefit could provide, which would help the residents pay for the cost of care. The staff was concerned that, because the assisted living facility Medicaid program has a monthly income maximum or “cap” in New Jersey, the increase in resident income due to the receipt of the VA Aid & Attendance benefit could result in the resident being found ineligible for Medicaid benefits due to excess income. Fortunately, I was able to refer the staff to a regulation covering Medicaid’s treatment of VA Aid & Attendance benefit which showed that the receipt of the VA benefit would not impact negatively on Medicaid eligibility. Medicaid Communication No 87-22, dated August 24, 1987, excludes VA Aid & Attendance benefits from being considered as income in determining Medicaid eligibility. The regulation provides in part as follows:

Income received as a direct result of application for VA Aid and Atten-
dance will not be counted in the financial eligibility determination.

Medicaid Communications are internal memoranda issued by Medicaid’s central office in Trenton, NJ to the staff of the local county welfare boards who actually take Medicaid applications from the public and administer the program. They are issued periodically and contain interpretations of law, administrative directives, descriptions of state policy initiatives and the like. They are invaluable in formulating Medicaid eligibility strategies. All Medicaid Communication issued since 2005 are now online and can be found at Department of Human Services – MEDCOMMS.