VA’s New Final Rule Affects Several of its Needs-Based Programs

VA’s New Final Rule Affects Several of its Needs-Based Programs

Earlier this month, the Department of Veteran Affairs’ new final rule went into affect, which significantly impacts the VA Pension, the Aid & Attendance Benefit and some other needs-based benefit programs. Those who work with Veterans should be aware of these changes when advising clients. Many of the changes affect certain eligibility requirements, including:

  • Net worth – The new regulations establish a net worth limit to qualify for VA pensions at $123,600, the current maximum community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) for Medicaid purposes.
  • Asset transfers – The new rule establishes a new 36 month look back period with asset transfer penalties of up to 5 years of benefits.
  • Deductible medical expenses – The new rule spells out what medical expenses can be deducted from countable income.
  • Income and asset exclusions – The new rule includes an extensive list specifying the types of payments that are excluded from countable income and/or assets for the purpose of determining entitlement to any financial need-based VA benefit.
  • Medicaid-covered nursing home care – The new regulations implement statutory changes for VA pension beneficiaries who receive Medicaid-covered nursing home care.

For more information, see our partner’s, Justice in Aging, new fact sheet.

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.