Does the Veterans Administration have any claim on my parent's estate?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 30, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My father has Alzheimer’s and dementia, and is a veteran. If he is taken care of by a VA home and my mother is paying according to income, does the VA or our state have any rights to my parent's assets if my father passes away?


Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for Caring.com.

The VA's nursing home programs include VA-operated nursing home care units located at VA hospitals, contract community nursing homes and state homes. The majority of these facilities are state VA homes and the rules vary from state to state. In some states, the VA home charges a maximum monthly fee if a resident's assets are above a specified limit. If the assets are below the limit, they will prorate the fee according to income.

These facilities don't put any liens on assets. This means that neither the VA nor the state has any rights to your parents' assets before or after your father passes away. You should check with the VA home in your parents' state to determine what the payment arrangement is in your state. Ask the VA for a copy of its agreement. If Medicaid may be involved, you should then check the Medicaid regulations for the state. If your father does go on Medicaid, your mother is entitled to keep a certain amount of income and assets. Again, this varies from state to state.