Just last week, the Veterans Administration published new rules that make it more difficult to qualify for pension benefits. One of the most important changes is that any gifts made in the past 36 months, either to a family member or to an irrevocable trust, will be penalized. An investment in an annuity will also be penalized. This means a veteran or surviving spouse could be prohibited from qualifying for VA pension benefits for up to five years, depending on the amount of the gift or transfer.
This affects any wartime veterans or surviving spouses who wish to apply for benefits and potentially receive a monthly cash payment to help with care costs.
Those who act quickly may still take advantage of the current rules where there is no penalty for making gifts or transferring funds to an irrevocable trust. As the new rules go into effect on October 18, all planning must be complete by that time.
If you qualify for VA pension benefits – or know anyone who does – please contact us at (703) 448-7575 as soon as possible so that we can recommend the best course of action.