Page 10 - Scene Magazine 41-10 October 2016
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In most cases, these expenses are only deductible if there is a rating.
This special provision can allow Vet- eran households earning more than the annual MAPR to qualify for Pension. As an example, a Veteran household earning $6,000 a month could still qualify for Pension if the veteran is paying $4,500 to $6,000 a month for nursing home costs. The applicant must submit appro- priate evidence for a rating and for recur- ring costs in order to qualify for this spe- cial provision. VA normally does not tell applicants about this special treatment of medical expenses or how to qualify for it. Most local facilities are aware of the provision and can direct you or your loved one.
Dealing with Assets that may Disqualify the Applicant
There is also an asset test to qualify for Pension. Any asset or investment that could be easily converted into income might disqualify the claimant. An asset ceiling of $80,000 is often cited as being the test. The $80,000 has to do with VA
internal filing requirements and is not an actual test. In reality, there is no dollar amount for the test and any level of as- sets could block the award. The asset test ultimately becomes a subjective decision made by the Veterans service representa- tive, processing the application.
A home, used as a residence, vehicles and difficult-to-sell property are general- ly excluded from the asset test.
the rating
A rating for “aid and attendance” or “housebound” allows VA to pay addi- tional benefits beyond the regular Pen- sion benefit ceiling in order to help cover the additional costs associated with add- ed disabilities. A rating for these allow- ances is determined by a Veteran service representative who has been trained to recognize from medical reports and in- terviews whether the Veteran or his sur- viving spouse needs the additional care.
Determinations of a need for aid and attendance or housebound benefits may be based on medical reports and findings by private physicians or from hospital
facilities. Authorization of aid and atten- dance benefits without a rating decision is automatic if evidence establishes the claimant is a patient in a nursing home. Aid and attendance is also automatic if the claimant is blind, or nearly blind, or having severe visual problems.
According to 38 CFR Part Three, the following criteria are used to determine the need for aid and attendance:
• Inability of claimant to dress or
undress himself (herself), or to keep himself (herself) ordinarily clean and presentable;
• Frequent need of adjustment of any special prosthetic or orthopedic appliances, which by reason of the particular disability cannot be done without aid (this will not include the adjustment of appliances which normal persons would be unable to adjust without aid, such as supports, belts, lacing at the back, etc.);
• Inability of claimant to feed himself (herself) through loss of coordina- tion of upper extremities or through extreme weakness;
   To honor my father, Albert W. Back, First Lt., WWI & WWII. And brother Marvin G. Back, two star Major General
705 W. Michigan, Battle Creek, MI 49037
               SANTo l. zANETTI
U.S. Army, 1942-1945
1338 West Michigan, Battle Creek, MI 49037 269-962-8779 •
 Quality Service For Over 50 Years
  A Proud Part of the Marshall Business Community 1631 Pratt Avenue
Marshall, MI 49068 269-781-3911

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