ALTCS Arizona Medicaid Benefit Provides Important Safety Net to Veterans Who Don’t Qualify and Those Who Do.

The number of calls from non-qualifying veterans, their loved ones, and caregivers looking for information on the Veterans Pension with Aid and Attendance Program has tripled recently. This uptick in the number of calls where I have to be the bearer of bad news and tell them they do not qualify is because these veterans don’t have active-duty service during wartime.

I predicted the coming of this wave of veterans about eleven years ago when I realized the long lapse between the end of the Korean War on January 31, 1955, and the start of the Vietnam War on August 5, 1964, resulting in more than nine years when the US was not involved in a war.

Another 15-year gap occurred between the end of the Vietnam War and the Gulf Conflict. Those vets active during these periods do not qualify for Veterans Pension with Aid and Attendance.

A small group of Vietnam veterans has “boots on the ground status,” which applies to those physically in Vietnam starting on February 2, 1961. Keep in mind that this is a very small group of soldiers compared to the total number of active duty members during that same period.

I also receive calls from veterans who served only as reservists, like the Army National Guard. I understand why this situation can be somewhat confusing. I enlisted in the Naval Reserves, went to boot camp, and then went for training as a fireman, which is considered active duty for training. However, active duty for training does not qualify as active duty. At the tail end of the Vietnam War, I was called up for three years of active duty. An untrained non-accredited individual might be confused by my DD-214 (discharge papers), which says “USNR” (i.e., United States Naval Reserves). Without looking closely at my discharge, an untrained non-accredited individual might tell me I don’t qualify when indeed I do. I have 3 years of active duty in the Navy during the Vietnam war.

I feel that it is unfair that veterans who did serve on full-time active duty service outside a war period do not qualify for the Veterans Pension benefits. Think about this: I was discharged in 1975, just after the Vietnam War had ended. I was replaced by a new sailor who had just finished boot camp and went through the same fireman training, I did. Shortly after I left the ship, he boarded and did the same job that I did on the USS Racine LST-1191. He likely served a full 4-year term, whereas I served only three years of active duty.

Yet because the US was not in a war at his service, he doesn’t qualify for the VA aid and attendance benefit veterans pension benefits.

I have strong feelings about this and am convinced that it is not fair to those veterans who served away from their families. Yet, due to ongoing funding challenges, I know that it is doubtful Congress will ever agree to change the qualification requirements to allow these non-wartime veterans to qualify.

This is where Arizona Medicaid ALTCS will play a critical role today. As I said, I saw this wave coming and started helping individuals with Arizona Medicaid – ALTCS, I even became a Certified Medicaid Planner (CMP).

Arizona Medicaid ALTCS is a safety net for these veterans needing long-term care. Arizona Medicaid ALTCS might be an even better option financially than VA benefits in many cases. The Veterans Aid and Attendance – Veterans Pension benefit is a limited benefit that pays a flat sum. For a surviving spouse of a war-time veteran, the sum is only $1,318, while the cost of assisted living/nursing care can easily be more than $6,000 per month. Arizona Medicaid ALTCS provides a far more significant benefit in this particular case, although the medical requirements to qualify for the Veterans Aid and Attendance – Veterans Pension are a much lower care level than what it takes to be eligible for Arizona Medicaid ALTCS.  

Finally, I want to leave you with a thought on long-term care (LTC) insurance. It is always a wise choice if you are healthy and can qualify for LTC insurance. Buying an LTC policy that would pay $68 per day provides the same benefit a single war-time veteran can get (i.e., $2,050 per month). A spouse can buy a policy for $44 per day. For those vets and non-vets who do not qualify for Veterans Aid and Attendance – Veterans Pension, LTC insurance can be a smart purchase.

Whether you’re in a long-term care crisis now or want to do LTC financial planning for the future, call Steve Dabbs to discuss your options.

Call us for Free Consultation!