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Veterans and the surviving spouses of veterans in Ohio may be eligible for a little-known benefit from the Department of Veteran Affairs. This program offers monthly benefits to help to pay for long-term care when people grow older and need help.

The Veterans Aid & Attendance Pension Benefit offers monthly payments to qualifying people to pay for private-pay nursing home care, in-home care, assisted living communities or board and care. The money is tax-free and is available in addition to other types of benefits that the recipients might receive.

In order to be eligible, the veteran must have served at least 90 days of active duty, and a minimum of one day of the service should have been during a qualifying wartime period. The veteran or the surviving spouse must have less than $80,000 in assets that do not include the veteran or spouse’s home or the car. The A & A benefit pays up to $1,794 per month for the veteran’s care, $1,153 for the surviving spouse’s care or $2,127 per month for the care of a couple. The benefit can be very helpful since it pays for assisted living care, which Medicaid and Medicare do not.

As people grow older, they might want to conduct long-term care planning so that they are prepared for the time in which they might need care. Long-term care planning may help people to prevent the depletion of their assets so that they can preserve them to pass on to their families. Experienced elder law and estate planning lawyers may help older adults to plan their estates in such a way that they might be approved for Medicaid and other benefits to pay for their care when the time comes. They may help their clients to avoid having to deplete their estates in order to receive the care that they need.