The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) recently released new rules regarding eligibility for the VA pension benefit. These new rules will go into effect on October 18, 2018 and will significantly change common strategies used for qualifying for benefits. The new rules include:
- Three Year Look Back Period for Asset Transfers. Transfers for less than fair market value beginning October 18, will be subject to a three year look back period.
- Penalty for Asset Transfers. Transfers for less than fair market value made during the look back period will be subject to a penalty period for up to five years.
- Net Worth Test. The new maximum asset limit is $123,600 which is the same as the maximum resource allowance allowed under the Medicaid rules.
- Homestead Exclusion. A homestead is an excluded asset provided the residential lot area of the property does not exceed two acres unless the additional acreage is not marketable.