Proposed Legislation Affects Michigan Seniors Seeking VA Benefits

As an elder law attorney in Macomb County Michigan, not only am I concerned about developments with state law, I also keep an eye on developments with federal law. One area of particular interest remains with VA and Va benefits for wartime veterans. Recent developments in federal legislation will affect Michigan seniors that are veterans with their potential eligibility for VA benefits as part of long term care planning.

It is clear that the VA and the Senate will adopt a new lookback period in order to make it more difficult to become eligible for benefits; and, indirectly, to make sure that seniors that are otherwise eligible to receive benefits work with accredited attorneys and knowledgable elder law attorneys.

Currently, a bill remains in legislation that will:

1. Adopt a maximum divestment penalty of thirty-six (36) months for transfers made prior to application.

2. Calculate a penalty based on the value of the money and/or resource divested divided by the value of the projected benefit.

3. Create a “carryover” penalty for a surviving spouse of an applicant.

This legislation will create a need to work with an accredited advisor and attorney in order to plan proactively for benefits.

As always if you are in southeast Michigan and are a wartime veteran, please call our office to discuss planning opportunities.