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The following is an urgent message that could impact you or a loved one.

On September 18, 2018, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amended the rules regarding eligibility for VA pension. These new rules have drastically changed VA pension planning. VA pension is a monthly cash benefit available to wartime Veterans or surviving spouses of wartime Veterans who have limited income and assets and are in need of care.

Some of the rules that will go into effect on October 18, 2018 are:

  1. Transfers of assets will be subject to a look-back period of 36 months when applying for pension benefits for wartime Veterans, their surviving spouses and dependent children of wartime Veterans.
  2. After October 18th, any asset that was transferred for less than fair market value within the 36 months prior to application will trigger a penalty period. If a penalty period is imposed, the applicant's benefits will be adversely delayed.
  3. There is now a bright-line rule regarding the amount of assets that a Veteran can own and still be approved for needs-based benefits. This asset limit is currently set at $123,600.00, and will increase each year.

The good news is there is still time to apply for VA pension benefits under the current rules! Any assets transferred before October 18 will not be subject to the 36 month look-back period or penalty period rules. Nor will the asset limit be applicable.

It is extremely important to pursue VA pension benefits before October 18, 2018. I urge you to contact my office immediately if you or someone you know could possibly qualify for VA pension benefits.

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  • Richard P. Johnson is Board certified Texas Board of Legal Specialization Estate Planning And Probate
  • Wealth Counsel
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The Johnson Firm, P.C.
2400 Lakeside Blvd.
Suite 120
Richardson, TX 75082

Phone: 972-587-7545
Fax: 972-925-9227
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