David Lerner Associates: New Vets Pension Rates Released
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a tax-free, supplemental pension to qualifying wartime veterans and their families. To be eligible, veterans must have limited income and assets, and they generally must have a period of service that includes at least one day on active duty during wartime and 90 days total active duty time. Veterans who entered active duty after September 7, 1980 generally must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty. Also, veterans must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
In addition to these basic service requirements, to be eligible, a veteran must be:
- Age 65 or older, or
- Totally and permanently disabled, or
- A patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, or
- Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, or
- Receiving Supplemental Security Income
A veteran who qualifies for the pension will receive a monthly benefit check. The amount he or she receives depends upon the veteran's marital status, whether the veteran has dependent children, whether the veteran is able to care for himself or herself, and the veteran's countable family income and net worth.
A veteran with countable family income exceeding the maximum annual pension rate (MAPR) as set by Congress will not be eligible for pension benefits. Otherwise, the MAPR is reduced, dollar-for-dollar, by countable income, with the difference paid monthly to the veteran or eligible survivor. Uninsured medical expenses paid by a veteran that exceed 5 percent of the MAPR may reduce the family countable income and increase the pension benefit. The latest MAPR rates, effective December 1, 2014, are available on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website, www.benefits.va.gov.
Based on rates effective December 1, 2014, the MAPR for a veteran with a spouse (who is not a veteran) is $16,851. If that veteran had countable family income of $10,500, and uninsured medical expenses of $4,000, the veteran would be eligible to receive a monthly pension of $792, calculated as follows:
$16,851 x .05 = $842 (5% of MAPR)
$4,000 - $842 = $3,158 (medical expenses that exceed 5% of MAPR)
$10,500 - $3,158 = $7,342 (countable income reduced by medical expenses that exceed 5% of MAPR)
$16,851 - $7,342 = $9,509/12 = $792 (MAPR reduced by countable income, paid monthly)
Veterans and survivors, who are eligible for a pension and require the assistance of another person to perform functions of everyday living or are housebound, may receive an additional monthly payment through Aid and Attendance (A&A) or housebound allowances. The A&A and housebound benefits are also subject to a MAPR.
Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities. David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances.
To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.
These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice. Some of this material has been provided by Broadridge Investor Communications Solutions, Inc.
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Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates Call 516-921-4200 Visit our website: http://www.davidlerner.com