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Richard T. Taps and Maggie L. Sutton are accredited by the Department of Veteran Affairs to prepare, present, and prosecute claims for veteranís benefits before the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

On June 6, 2012, Senate Bill 3270 proposed sweeping changes to the VA Aid and Attendance program.  This bill has not yet been passed into law, but the key provisions of the bill include:

  • A "lookback period" of 36 months. Similar to Medicaid, this period begins on the date the claim is filed.
  • A "penalty period" for assets transferred prior to filing of the claim, including transfers to trusts, annuities or other financial products.
  • The "penalty period" will be calculated by taking the amount transferred and dividing it by the monthly pension amount the claimant would have received.
  • The ability to fully cure a gift.

The bill does not provide any provisions for exempt transfers.
This bill will be effective one year after passage. The provisions will apply only to claims or redeterminations that occur after the new law is implemented. 
VA provides a wide range of benefits. Below is a brief listing of those benefits.  If you would like additional information on these benefits, visit the VAís webpage here.

  • Dependentsí and Survivorsí Benefits
    • Disability and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
    • Death Pension
    • VA Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA)
  • Medical Treatment
    • Hospital, outpatient, medical, dental, pharmacy, and prosthetic services Domiciliary, nursing home, and community-based residential care
      And more Ö
  •  Disability Benefits
    • Compensation
    • Pension
  • Burial Benefits
  • Life Insurance
  • Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment
  • Home Loan Guaranty
  • Education and Training

General Eligibility (from Federal Benefits for Veterans Dependents & Survivors 2010)
Eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Active service means full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, Environmental Science Services Administration or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or its predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey. Generally, men and woman veterans with similar service may be entitled to the same VA Benefits.Ē
    You may be eligible for VA benefits if you are a:

  1. Veteran, Veteranís Dependent
  2. Surviving spouse, child or parent of a deceased veteran
  3. Uniformed service member
  4. Present or former reservist or National Guard member

Important Documents Needed to Expedite VA Benefits Delivery
In order to expedite benefits delivery, veterans seeking a VA benefit for the first time must submit a copy of their service discharge form (DD-214, DD-215, or World War II veterans, a WD form), which documents service dates and type of discharge, or give their full name, military service number, and branch and dates of service. The Department recommends that you keep the discharge papers in a safe location that are accessible to the veteran or spouse, next of kin, or designated representative.
Additional documents needed for claims processing related to a veteranís death are
(I will ask you to bring these documents to the meeting):

  1. Marriage certificate for claims of surviving spouse or children.
  2. Certified death certificate.
  3. Childrenís birth certificates or adoption papers to determine benefits.
  4. Deceasedís birth certificate to determine benefits for parents.

New to VA

VA Benefits Facts Sheets

VA Benefits Timetable (VBA-21-0501-ARE)

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