Qualifying financially for VA Improved Pension with Aid and Attendance requires that asset and income tests be met. Unfortunately, the VA does not provide “red line” asset and income limits and instead uses formulas.
To qualify for the maximum award, GROSS household income from all sources (including that of the spouse if married) must be totally consumed by Unreimbursed Medical Expenses (“UME”) which may include payments made to a family caregiver (other than the spouse).
Payments to a caregiver must be evidenced (copies of cashed checks) and an affidavit signed by both the caregiver and the care recipient indicating the type of care being provided, the frequency of the care, and the amount of compensation must be submitted.
As a previous poster suggested, payments for care to a family member may cause an issue with Medicaid eligibility and a properly drafted agreement between the family caregiver and the person providing care is recommended.
There is no stipulated asset limit although many will incorrectly state that there is a limit of $50,000 for an individual and $80,000 for a couple. These numbers only apply to VA internal processing and have nothing to do with qualification.
In determining an “asset limit” the VA looks at the family’s “gross estate” (essentially everything except the homestead residence, automobile and personal effects) and asks the following question: “If the gross estate is divided by life expectancy, will the result cover reported unreimbursed medical expenses for the life of the claimant?”.
If the answer is “yes”, no award. If the answer is “no” an award may be granted.
A partial award may be granted which seems to be the case here.
Awards can be increased upon new evidence.
Do not file an “appeal”. The first step in adjusting or contesting a claim is to submit new evidence based on the original application. The next step would be the filing of a “Notice of Disagreement”.
The final step would be filing a formal Appeal.