Do VA "Aid and Attendance" benefits preclude you from Medicaid and state assistance?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

Do VA "Aid and Attendance" benefits preclude you from Medicaid/State Assistance in North Carolina? I have gotten mixed answers to this question, but my mother only has about six months of private pay dollars left for her assisted living, and I am hesitant to apply for VA benefits if it will prevent her from getting state assistance or Medicaid. Her costs are close to $5000 a month because of her special needs.

Expert Answers

Rita Files, LPN, VSR, a nationally recognized expert on the elderly, has more than 30 years of experience in the health care industry, with 20 years focused on eldercare. She has developed programs for many leading providers in the senior living industry. Accredited through the V.A. in veterans' benefits, she is an advocate and powerful resource committed to educating veterans and their families about the nonservice connected pension benefit and providing them with accurate information. She is cofounder and COO of Aging with Grace.

This is definitely an area where the VA Disability Pension Benefit for Aid & Attendance could turn out being more of a foe than a friend and your hesitancy is well warranted. In some cases the VA Disability Pension can have an effect on an individual's eligibility for Medicaid benefits and why special attention has to be given to this area before applying for VA benefits. With less than 6 months of assets remaining, it is a good time to look at getting the Medicaid application process started if you haven't done so already and Mom's case worker would be a great resource as it relates to receiving VA Aid & Attendance and Medicaid.

Hopefully Mom is in an assisted living community that participates in the Medicaid waiver program and she will be able to remain as a resident of that community.

In cases where there are any questions related to Medicaid Planning, especially if a transfer of assets is being considered, that best route to take would be consulting an Elder Law Attorney for guidance and advice.