Status of Proposed Changes to VA Pension Benefits Regulations
POSTED ON - August 23, 2017
Written By Krause Financial Services
Note: This blog was written prior to the publication of the Net Worth, Asset Transfers, and Income Exclusions for Needs-Based Benefits rule by the Veterans Affairs Department effective October 18, 2018. As such, any strategies outlined in this blog post may no longer be advisable. For more information, read our blog post on the subject, or read the full Federal Register document text here.
In January 2015, the Department of Veterans Affairs proposed rule changes that would significantly change the eligibility standards for VA pension benefits. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ proposed changes include:
- Establishing a clear net worth limit
- Creating a 36-month look-back period regarding asset transfers
- The imposition of a penalty period should the claimant have been found to make divestments during the look-back period
- Defining and clarifying deductible medical expenses
Additionally, other provisions may change which would likely impact the number of those eligible to receive benefits, or at least impact the eligibility process of those seeking benefits.
The Wait Continues for Finalized VA Pension Benefits Rule
More than two years later, we are still waiting to learn when the final rule will be published, and when the proposed changes will take effect.
Publication of the final rule has been delayed multiple times due to the complexity of the rule and the large amount of comments received regarding the initial proposal. Krause Financial Services has recently learned the amendments to the 2015 proposal have been completed. However, because the final rule is still a draft, the VA is unable to share these amendments at this time. The rule is expected to undergo VBA concurrence by the end of August, with full VA concurrence to follow. The VA does not expect the final rule to be published before end of summer or early fall 2017.
Krause Financial Services will continue to update this information as it becomes available. We monitor all updates diligently.
We invite you to read the full 2015 Department of Veterans Affairs proposal.