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VA Benefits may help your parents afford assisted living

Assisted living costs can easily creep upwards of $4,000, making it very difficult for some seniors to get the assistance they need.

VA benefits for select former service members and their surviving spouses are making the transition to assisted living much easier.

A married veteran can receive up to up to nearly $2,000.00 per month for aid and attendance for assisted living or nursing care. Widows(ers) are eligible for up to almost $1,100.00 per month, respectively. Veterans and their widows(ers) may also be eligible for home bound assistance.

If veterans have liquid assets (stocks, CDs, cash) over $80,000, they will likely have to spend down the extra funds to qualify for the benefit. It is wise to visit with an estate attorney or certified financial adviser familiar with the benefit before taking any financial action. If you contact your local retirement or assisted living community, they may have a list of professionals that will help you complete the paperwork and even send it to the VA Department for you.

The VA considers four criteria for determining eligibility for benefits (for non-service related medical needs):

1) Military service during any defined period of war

2) Medical need

3) Income limit

4) Net worth limit

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