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Surviving Spouse

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Four Ways to Pay for Long-Term Care

Concerned about how your parents will pay for their long-term care?  Here are the four basic ways to pay for care.


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Monday, November 4, 2013

Benefits Available to Survivor's Of Military Veterans- DIC

Survivor’s Benefit – DIC

Mary’s husband was rated 100% service-connected for a cancer related to Agent Orange exposure.  After receiving Compensation for a number of years, Mary’s husband dies of the cancer.  Mary is 76, and is no longer able to care for herself in her home. She can no longer bathe or dress herself, and she needs someone to manage her medications.

What benefits are available to Mary?  What about other surviving spouses or dependent children of veterans?

There are two monetary benefits available to the surviving spouses or dependent children of veterans.   One is available to the surviving spouse of a wartime veteran, when the veteran’s death is not considered to be service-connected.  The other benefit is available when the death of the veteran is related to his service connected injury in some way.  This benefit is called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation or DIC.

DIC is a monthly benefit that is available to a surviving spouse or dependent child of certain deceased veterans.

When is this benefit available? 

First, the death had to have been under the following conditions:

  •  A military member died on active duty
  • Or, a veteran who died as a result of a service-connected injury or disease;
  • Or,   the veteran died as a result of a non-service connected injury or disease, but the veteran was receiving or entitled to receive Compensation for a service-connected disability that was rated totally disabling
  • For at least ten years immediately preceding death,
  • Or, since the veteran was released from active duty and he or she was receiving or entitled to receive Compensation for five years immediately preceding death,
  • Or for one year preceding death, if the veteran was a former prisoner of war.

A surviving spouse is eligible if she or he meets the requirements for marriage, and is not remarried.  Once the spouse remarries, she or he loses eligibility during the subsequent marriage.

Surviving children are eligible for DIC if they are unmarried, under the age of 18, or between 18 and 23 and attending school. 

A helpless child of the veteran is eligible if the child is incapable of self-support, and the child was disabled before the age of 18. 

Currently, the surviving spouse is eligible for a monthly payment of $1215.00 per month.  If the veteran was entitled to a total disability for at least 8 years prior to death, and the spouse was married to him/her the entire 8 years, the surviving spouse is eligible for an addition $258.00.

In this case, Mary may be eligible for an additional $301.00 if she is has trouble performing some of her activities of daily living and is in need of the assistance of another person on a regular basis to help her accomplish those activities of daily living.  Mary should file a claim for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) with the Department of Veterans Affairs on VA Form 21-534 or 21-534 EZ, and include a doctor’s statement and VA Form 21-2680 indicating that Mary is deficient in some of the activities of daily living. 


Monday, November 4, 2013

Veteran's Burial Benefits

Burial Benefits for Veterans

 The death of a veteran is always a difficult time for the family, but there are some benefits available to the veteran’s family that might make his or her death a little less financially difficult.  Veterans who were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions are eligible for burial in a VA cemetery, a burial flag, and may be eligible for a one-time burial allowance, a funeral expense and a plot interment allowance.

Although the veteran cannot reserve a space, a veteran can be buried in one of the 131 national cemeteries located in 39 of the states the U.S.  and in Puerto Rico if there is space in the cemetery.  Georgia has two national cemeteries, one in Canton and one in Marietta.  However, the cemetery in Marietta is closed for burials, and can only take cremations.

The family of the veteran must arrange with a funeral home for the veteran to be embalmed or cremated, at the family’s expense.  The family can arrange with the VA for the burial by calling the VA to let them know of their desire to bury the veteran at the national cemetery by faxing the appropriate discharge paper to the VA at 1-866-900-6417 the calling the VA at 1-800-535-1117 with information regarding where the veteran is to be buried.

The VA takes care of opening and closing the grave, as well as the perpetual care of the gravesite.  In addition, the VA provides a government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Certificate at no cost to the family.

The spouse and/or dependent child of a veteran eligible for burial in a national cemetery is also eligible for burial in a national cemetery.

When is a veteran eligible for burial in a national cemetery?

A service-member who died on active duty is eligible for burial in a national cemetery. 

Since 1980 for enlisted service-members and 1981 for officers, the veteran must have served for 24 months or for the required time of service.

In some circumstances, parents whose biological or adoptive child whose death was the result of a hostile casualty or a training-related injury may be eligible for burial in the national cemetery.  Their child must be interred in a national cemetery, in a gravesite that has enough available space for a subsequent interment, and the child must not have any spouse or dependent child who is either buried or may be eligible to be buried in the national cemetery.

In addition to the burial, some veterans’ families are eligible for burial allowances.  These payments are classified as a burial and funeral expense allowance and a plot interment allowance.

The family may be eligible if they paid for the veteran’s funeral and they have not been reimbursed by another governmental agency or another source, such as the veteran’s employer.

As always, the veteran must have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.

In addition, the veteran must have died because of a service-connected disability, or must have been receiving VA Pension or Compensation, or was eligible to receive Pension or Compensation or died in a VA hospital, a nursing home under VA contract, or while in an approved state nursing home.

If the veteran’s death was service-related, the VA will pay up to $2000 toward burial expenses if the death occurred after Sept. 11, 2001.  If the veteran is buried in a national cemetery, the VA may pay some or all of the cost of transporting the veteran.

If the death was non-service connected, the VA will pay up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses and a $300 plot-interment allowance.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Come hear Patti speak Tuesday, March 26th!

Come join us at the Tapestry House of Alpharetta Tuesday, March 26th at 6:30pm.

Patti will be speaking about the difference between being housebound with a  caregiver vs moving into an Assisted Living Facility. 

All are welcome!

 

 

 

 

 


Monday, November 12, 2012

Seniors Beware: How Much Salt are you Eating?

      Just like with most things in life, salt is best in moderation. Salt has been around for thousands of years and has served multiple purposes from being a means to preserve meats to adding flavor to a dish. But did you know that too much salt can create health problems including high blood pressure and heart disease? It is not just the french fries or the potato chips that we have to watch out for, but items that are packadged and heavy card-based.  On National Eating Healthy Day, the American Heart Association developed a list of six items that we should be mindful of consuming because of their above average levels of sodium. Please click the link to find out what are the 'Salty Six'.

 

http://seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Nutrition-Vitamins/2012/20121107-Seniors_Take_Heed.htm


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Paying for Long-term Care: VA Benefits for Surviving Spouses

When she was approaching her 85th birthday, Sarah began to worry.  Until that time, she believed she had plenty of money to last through her lifetime.  Now, she saw her life’s savings slipping away.

Read more . . .


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