17 May In the News: Home Care Services for Veterans
In the September 18, 2018 Federal Register, at pages 47246-47275, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced its final rule regarding, among other things, calculation of income and assets for need-based programs and in-home services to veterans. The VA had proposed to set a nationwide limit on the amounts home care providers are paid for providing assistance to veterans with ADLs and IADLs. This limit would have been tied to a survey of long term care costs that is no longer conducted and published by MetLife. In its final rule, the VA elected to omit provisions regarding this limitation on rates.
Section 3.274 of the final rule sets the asset limit for purposes of entitlement to VA pension to $123,600 as of October 18, 2018. The final rules gives an example of how the VA will calculate a veteran’s net worth as follows: “For purposes of this example, presume the net worth limit is $123,600. A claimant’s assets total $117,000 and annual income is $9,000. Therefore, adding the claimant’s annual income to assets produces net worth of $126,000. This amount exceeds the net worth limit.” Final rule § 3.274(b)(4). The final rule excludes, subject to certain limitations, a veteran’s primary residence, personal effects and certain enumerated payments from the calculation of net worth. The final rule sets up an exclusionary period in which the veteran will not be eligible for VA pension benefits if, during the 36 month period prior to the filing of their application for benefits, they transferred assets and did not receive fair market value for those assets.
The final rule takes effect on October 18, 2018.