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The federal government designed a program called the Aid and Attendance (A&A) Pension Benefit to do just that, but few veterans know about it.
Michael Smith and Richard Barid, co-founders of Savannah-based law firm Smith Barid, LLC, want to change that fact. Since founding their law firm in 2006, Smith and Barid have been a highly sought out resource for veterans groups and other organizations seeking information on A&A as well as other long-term care planning options available to seniors.
“Long-term care assistance can be costly and create stress among family members and loved ones,” Smith said. “We want our valued veterans to know that they have options available to them to reduce that stress and help them provide for their future.”
More than half of seniors, 51 percent, are veterans, according to the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics’ 2010 report. Veterans tend to have more health problems than the general senior population meaning that they are more likely to need long-term care.
In particular, the report stated that veterans have a higher percentage of limitations in activities of daily living, greater likelihood of having a disability, and less likelihood of rating their general health status as good or better.
The report also stated that the large increase in the oldest segment of the veteran population will continue to drive up demand for health care services, particularly long-term care.
The Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit is a program offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to veterans and their surviving spouses to pay for home care, assisted living or nursing care as well as medical supplies and medicines.
The Department of Health and Human Services estimated in 2009 that long-term care costs can range from $19 an hour for a Homemaker Service up to $219 a day for a room in a nursing home.
Through the A&A program, married couples can receive nearly $2,000 a month and widows or widowers more than $1,000 a month to help pay for these expenses, but fewer than 10 percent of U.S. seniors are taking advantage of the benefit, according to the National Care Planning Council, an agency that promotes long-term care planning nationwide.
Aid and Attendance Pension Benefits may apply to any veteran who served at least 90 consecutive days, (at least one of which was during a war period), is at least 65 years old (or totally and permanently disabled), was not dishonorably discharged and has been certified by a doctor as needing assistance with daily living activities. Widows or widowers of such veterans who neither divorced nor remarried also may apply.
In addition to these requirements veterans’ or their widows’ income and net worth must not exceed certain limits.
“As an accredited VA attorney there are things that I can do to help veterans or their widows meet these qualifications,” Barid said. “It is my job to share my expertise and help our clients qualify for the benefit while preserving some of the household assets.”
With proper planning a claimant often can make changes that would allow him or her to qualify.
“We work with the family to help them pay for medical care without entirely depleting their loved one’s assets,” Smith said. “Our goal is to stretch our client’s assets to delay the need to rely upon Medicaid for care.”
Smith and Barid offer free first-time consultations for anyone interested in learning more about the A&A benefit. They also are available to speak to civic groups/clubs, churches, synagogues, and other religious organizations, professional groups, elderly groups/clubs, over 55 groups/clubs, medical support groups, Veterans clubs, and to any group that is interested in helping the elderly on this or other topics of interest.
MAXIMUM A&A PENSION IN 2011*
Max Monthly Benefit Allowed
2 Married Vets
* These amounts may change each year based on cost of living adjustments (no COLA from 2010 to 2011).
Looking like the love child of Willy Wonka and Sweeney Todd's Mrs.
Lovett, as styled by Edward Scissorhands, Johnny Depp slinks into his
latest role, as 200-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins, shown here on
the U.K. set of the film adaptation of the Gothic 1966-71 afternoon TV
soap, Dark Shadows.
"There’s something about this vampire coming back after 200 years into
this modern world, with a touch of the poetic, with maybe a tendency to
maybe wax a little poetic now and again," Depp, 48, told MTV News
earlier this year. "I have a good feeling about it. But Jonathan Frid’s
Barnabas was so special." Dark Shadows, set for release next May, will reunite Depp with his frequent collaborator, director Tim Burton, as well as his Sweeney Todd costar Helena Bonham Carter. It will also feature Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Chloe Moretz and Jackie Earle Haley –and cameo appearances by the TV version's David Selby, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker ...and, drumroll, 86-year-old Jonathan Frid.
NASA RELEASES 9/11 VIDEO FROM SPACE _ Ten years after the September 11 attacks, most of us probably think we've looked at the tragedy from every possible angle. Naturally our perspective has most often been from below, where we all felt very small that day. So it's fascinating, and somehow appropriate, that NASA just officially released footage of the 9/11 attacks shot from space. American astronaut Frank Culbertson captured the video from 200 miles above on the International Space Station, where he was orbiting the earth with two Russian cosmonauts when the towers were hit.
1. King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after
years of war with the Hittites. His last great possession was
the Star of the Euphrates , the most valuable diamond in the
ancient world. Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker
to ask for a loan.
Croesus said, "I'll give you 100,000 dinars for it."
"But I paid a million dinars for it," the King protested.
"Don't you know who I am? I am the king!"
Croesus replied, "When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no
difference who you are."
(FROM HOMELAND SECURITY)
Malicious users seeking to exploit interest related to the 10 year anniversary of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks will likely use subject lines related to the incident in phishing1 e-mails on or around 11 September 2011. Network administrators and general users should be aware of these attempts and avoid opening messages with attachments and/or subject lines related to 9/11.
STUPID MISTAKES MANY PEOPLE ARE STILL MAKING ON FACEBOOK
Revealing Your Complete Birth Date
According to money experts, giving away your complete date of birth is just what an identify thief is looking for as he or she carefully pieces your profile together for the next big caper.
Announcing You’re Away
Robbers come in all shapes, colors, sexes and are from all walks of life, and they could well be masquerading behind fake aliases on Facebook. So brag about your vacation after you’ve turned that key in your front door.
Using An Obvious Password
Here’s a tip: Throw in symbols and numbers in the middle of a word to throw those pain-in-the-booty hackers off their game.
Overlooking Privacy controls
The powers-that-be at Facebook have placed this powerful tool in your little hands so that you can keep certain contacts from looking at the things you simply don’t want them to see. You can take your Facebook wand and restrict folks from viewing photos, personal information and even your wall postings.
Not Thinking Before You Post
Law enforcement officials, employers, and even insurers are snooping Facebook pages trying to scrounge up the goods on you. So, don’t post anything that could land you in jail, get you fired from a job or have an insurer cancel your life insurance policy for supplying them with false info about your at-risk lifestyle.
Failing To Use The Private Message Feature
Use your private message feature to communicate with those selected few about upcoming events or for conversations that are just not meant for all to survey.
Mentioning The Names Of Your Kids Under 13
Is it really necessary to mention your children by name to a network of perhaps 12 real friends and 443 extended "I don't really know those folks but I friended them anyway" on your Facebook page? Unfortunately, there are plenty of undesirables like predators and kidnappers, who may have, or can gain access to your information and a user’s safety depends on the user as much as on the site. Do you really want these creeps to know your children Howie and Prudence’s names, or to know, where they go to school?
FALL MOVIE PREVIEW
Seeing all those back to school sales has me thinking fall, so why not talk fall movie releases?