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Attorney Gerald L. Kane Urges Vets to Consult an Expert Regarding Changes in Veterans Benefits Prior to Applying

Los Angeles attorney Gerald L. Kane, founder of the Law Offices of Gerald L. Kane, answers the most frequently asked questions about veterans benefits.


VA pensions, including the basic veterans pension, Aid & Attendance (A&A) pension, housebound pension and survivors pension, are typically needs-based. “However, last October the VA made major changes to the rules for qualification. The biggest change to the eligibility requirements for these programs is how the VA considers an applicant’s finances and determines if they are truly ‘at need,’” said Kane. “The sweeping changes are new ‘bright line’ rules for combined assets and income of $127,061 (2019 amount), a 3-year look-back on asset transfer (similar to Medi-Cal), and up to a 5-year penalty for giving away assets.”

The old rules did not lead to uniformity, with inconsistent and sometimes an unfair decision. For example, a 90-year-old with $10,000 in assets could be denied. Additionally, annuities and trusts are now countable assets if the claimant retains the ability to liquidate and could be countable income too. There are also broader rules concerning qualified medical expenses, which now include cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s, that result in the need for supervision to protect from the hazards or dangers incident to his or her daily environment.

In order to further assist veterans, Kane answers the following three frequently asked questions about  veterans benefits.

No. 1: Is there a benefit available to help pay for nursing home care? “Under most circumstances, veterans are eligible to receive nursing home care through Aid & Attendance,” noted Kane.

No. 2: What other benefits are available to veterans? In California, veterans may be eligible for many potential benefits. Some of these benefits include nursing home care/assisted living, medical bills and in-home care.

“A veteran may also be eligible for other government benefits such as Medicaid, Medi-Cal, welfare, Social Security Disability, and more,” added Kane. “Talk to a veterans benefits attorney directly to find out what benefits you may be eligible to receive.”

No. 3: As a veteran, do I qualify for special pension benefits? “There are certain eligibility requirements that must be met by a veteran in order to qualify for disability benefits,” noted Kane.

  • The veteran must be age 65 or older and be permanently and totally disabled;
  • The veteran must not have been dishonorably discharged;
  • The veteran must have served active duty for a period of 90 days or more;
  • The veteran must have served in active duty at least 1 day during wartime (the applicable wars include WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the First Gulf War);
  • Certain financial eligibility requirements may also apply.

Concluded client Lauren L., “My recent experience with Gerald L. Kane was top notch, professional and personable. They handled my father’s VA financial needs with the utmost care as if we were family. I couldn’t be more pleased with the results and service!”

About Gerald L. Kane, Law Offices of Gerald L. Kane

Gerald L. Kane represents veterans throughout Southern California in accessing the benefits and pensions to which they are entitled. Practice areas of the Law Offices of Gerald L. Kane include estate planning, life care planning, probate, trust administration, veterans benefits, Medicaid and Medi-Cal, and special needs planning. For more information, please call (818) 905-6088, or visit The law office is located at 16255 Ventura Blvd., Suite 510, Encino, CA 91436.

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