Our friends at Brookdale Arlington have asked us to share with you this information from Patriot Angels about a proposed new regulation that has the potential to affect veterans who currently reside in, or are looking to move to, a Senior Living Community.
The VA has recently proposed new regulations that, if they are not opposed, will soon go into effect. These regulations, as proposed, could affect many existing pension recipients as well as potential recipients, and we need to voice our opposition. Some of the proposals include excluding all Independent Living Facility expenses, modifying the income/asset limitations, and implementing penalties to those who transfer assets. As we sit here today, there is no grace period for the implementation of these regulations nor is there any grandfather provision. We believe these proposed regulations are arbitrary, they have the effect of treating veterans and their widows differently, and they will negatively impact so many who fought for our country and paid into this pension so it would be there for them later in life. We are asking that you voice your opposition to these regulations so the VA will see they are a hinderance rather than a help to the process.
You can do so by going to http://www.regulations.gov or by mail, fax or hand-delivery to:
Director, Regulation Policy and Management (02REG)
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Ave. NW, Room 1068
Washington, DC 20420
Fax: (202) 273-9026
Comments must include that they are “In Response to RIN 2900-A073, Net Worth, Asset Transfers, and Income Exclusions for Needs-Based Benefits.”
Comments must be received prior to March 24, 2015 to be considered, and we ask that you go further than simply saying you are opposed to the regulations. Give them reasons they must consider to be swayed against the proposals. These reasons can include:
- There is already a long wait time from the time someone applies to the time they are approved/denied. Enforcing a look-back of three years will just increase the processing time and cause further delays.
- Individuals living in Independent Living Facilities are often getting just as much care if not more care than individuals in Assisted Living Facilities, and excluding ILFs will have a detrimental affect on many veterans and their spouses.
- If my veteran parent chooses to make some gifts during their lifetime and then, after they pass, their surviving spouse needs the pension, the regulations will penalize them more harshly than they would if the spouse made the transfers and the veteran later needs the pension. This is unfair and arbitrary.
These are just a handful of the reasons these proposed regulations should be opposed. There are many more, and each and every one you can articulate in your own words to the VA will help veterans and their spouses who paid into these benefits so they would be available to them later in life.