Michigan Attorneys Providing Excellence in Estate Planning and Elder Care

Aid & Attendance Benefit for Veterans or Surviving Spouses in “Independent Living”

For the last year, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been denying claims for the Aid & Attendance benefit if room and board costs were invoiced separately from the care costs for ‘Activities of Daily Living’ (ADL).  Typically this is how billing is set up for most “Independent Living” situations.  Claims were often being denied even when the doctor’s statement said the person needed “custodial care” or a “protective environment.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs has now clarified (in a memo dated October 26, 2012), that room and board is a deductible medical expense if:

  1. The doctor states that the person needs custodial care or a protective environment, and
  2. The person is paying for assistance with at least two ADLs, regardless of whether they pay the facility or a third party for the assistance with ADLs.

This is great news that will make it much more straightforward to secure these benefits for our well-deserving veterans who require such assistance in an independent living situation.  If you are interested in learning more about the Aid & Attendance benefits or would like to know if you or your loved one qualifies for these benefits, feel free to contact us.


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