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Improved Wartime Pension
By Michael D. Fowler, J.D., LL.M.
If a married veteran already has an
income of $2,020 per month or more, the initial VA
reaction will be that the veteran cannot get the
pension—his income already exceeds the maximum pension
rate. The key here is to determine “income for VA
purposes,” which is gross income less unreimbursed
medical expenses. The cost of care in an assisted living
facility, for example, can be treated in its entirety as
unreimbursed medical expenses, therefore typically
qualifying eligible veterans for the maximum pension
Sometimes, the veteran needs assistance from a child or
other relative who does not live in the same household.
In that situation, we can help the veteran and the care
provider enter into a written personal care agreement
and the payments, under a properly drafted agreement,
will also qualify as unreimbursed medical expenses to
enable the veteran to receive the pension check.
Mr. Fowler has practiced in the Treasure Coast area
since 1980, with an emphasis on Wills, Trusts and
Estates since that time and has been a Florida Bar Board
Certified Wills, Trusts and Estates Lawyer since 1992.
He has also obtained Florida Bar Board certification in
Elder Law, and is one of only 3 attorneys on the
Treasure Coast to have such a distinction. Mr. Fowler is
a member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law
section and the Elder Law section of the Florida Bar and
a member of the Academy of Florida Elder Law attorneys,
the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys, and
ElderCounsel, a membership organization of attorneys
devoted to excellence in elder law services.