Veterans Benefits

Michigan Veterans Benefits Lawyer

VA Accredited, Certified Elder Law Attorney Christopher J. Berry has been helping veterans receive the Veterans Benefits and Aid and Attendance they deserve since 2008, when attorneys were first allowed to become accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs. He was one of the first VA accredited elder law attorneys in Michigan and his VA practice has been featured nationally in the National Academy of Elder Attorneys journal.

There is a ton of misinformation with regards to the VA Benefit out there, whether you read it online, talk to a friend or work with the VA directly. Often, the VA puts roadblocks between veterans and surviving spouses and the hard earned VA benefits they deserve. As VA Accredited Lawyers, it’s our job to help you and your family secure the VA Benefits and Aid and Attendance that you deserve.


There are an estimated 25 million United States veterans currently eligible for benefits from the Veterans Administration. And yet most of these veterans are under the impression that they are only entitled to Aid and Attendance benefits if they were wounded or disabled while serving. Additionally, many veterans do not know that benefits are in place for wartime veterans and their spouses to help with long-term care costs, including home health care, various assisted living facility costs, and nursing home expenses.

Veterans Aid and Attendance is awarded as a special monthly pension, and is available to wartime veterans or their surviving spouses in addition to a veteran’s “housebound” benefit or “service” benefit. An eligible veteran can receive more than $23,000 annually for assistance with medical expenses and long-term care. An eligible veteran’s widowed spouse can receive more than $12,500 a year. These benefits are tax-free. They are available to eligible (and the veteran’s widowed spouse) who require assistance with daily living tasks like bathing, cooking, eating, dressing, and other tasks. A physician must provide evidence of the need for care, which must then be certified by the VA.

We can determine if you are eligible for Veterans Aid and Attendance and other benefits, as well as guide you through the complex application, appeal and approval process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with VA Accredited, Certified Elder Law Attorney Christopher J. Berry.

VA Benefits Available

There are a multitude of VA Benefits available to senior veterans in Michigan. VA Benefits can come in a variety of different forms and provide medical benefits, nursing home care and the often over looked VA Benefit known as “Aid and Attendance.”


Medical Benefits

VA Medical benefits plans are available for enrolled veterans in Michigan. Due to heavy budgetary constraints, these benefits are delivered on a priority system. A Michigan veteran is assigned to a priority group, which is determined by the types of services they may access. Benefits may include prescription drugs, home health care and hospice.


Nursing Home Care

VA Benefits can help pay for nursing home care allowing a veteran to hold onto his or her assets. If the Veteran is eligible for Medicaid, the benefit will provide an additional $30 to the $60 income allowed for a Medicaid applicant. Also, in Michigan, there are two VA Nursing Homes. One in the Grand Rapids area and one in the Marquette area.


Michigan VA Aid and Attendance

For Michigan Veterans, there is an awesome benefit for long-term care for senior veterans who need home care, assisted living or nursing home care. The benefit is available to Michigan veterans and surviving spouses. The Aid and Attendance benefit amounts will vary based on out of pocket medical expenses and income and who in the family needs care.

Michigan VA Benefit  For 2017

Married Veterans can receive $2,127 per month

Single or Widowed Veterans can receive $1,794 per month

Surviving Spouses of Veterans can receive $1,153 per month

The Five Requirements to Qualify for the VA Benefit in Michigan

There are five requirements to qualify for the Michigan VA Benefit. The five requirements are:

  • 190 Days Active Duty
  • 2One Day During a Period of Conflict
  • 3Cannot Be Dishonorably Discharged
  • 4Long-term Care Costs
  • 5Resource Analysis

1)90 Days Active Duty

A veteran needs to have served 90 days active duty. Those 90 days do not need to be consecutive. Keep in mind, by “active duty, ” it doesn’t require the veteran to be boots on the ground. The veteran just needs to be active duty, even if they were pushing paper in Michigan.

4) Long-Term Care Costs

The veteran or surviving spouse will need to have on-going, reoccurring long-term care costs. For example, is the veteran or surviving spouse paying for home-care, assisted living, or nursing home costs? If that veteran or surviving spouse has a family care-giver they may qualify for the VA Benefit.

2)One Day During a Period of Conflict

Periods of conflict are determined by congress. The official periods of conflict are:

  • World War II: December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946
  • Korean War: June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955
  • Vietnam War: August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975
  • For those in Vietnam: February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975
  • Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990 – date to be determined

3)Cannot Be Dishonorably Discharged

The veteran cannot be dishonorably discharged. That’s pretty straightforward. All this information can be found on the DD214 or separation papers.

5)Resource Analysis

One of the key strategies we employ is the use of a specific type of trust to help veterans qualify for the VA benefit. It is called the Veterans Asset Protection Trust (VAPT). If you ask the VA, many times they will tell you do not qualify. However, a VA Accredited lawyer can remove those roadblocks. Many times a Veterans Asset Protection Trust will be used to qualify a veteran because there is no look back period for the VA Benefit. So, if a veteran or surviving spouse is over in assets, they can create a VAPT, then the next month be qualified.

Do You Qualify for the VA Benefit?

Contact our office at (888) 390-4360 for a free phone call to see if you qualify for the VA Benefit. The VA Benefit could bring in an additional $2,000+ per month to help pay for long-term care costs.