It’s bad enough for anyone when family medical bills are spiraling out of control while they can’t work or can’t find a job, and they’re trying desperately to help stop foreclosure on their home. . But what really makes me indignant is when that happens to veterans who deserve better after having served our country. And, when it’s senior citizens who are the veterans showing up at the Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices, it’s an even sadder situation.
That’s why I, a debt consolidation lawyer offering bankruptcy services in Indiana, want to remind readers of one very important benefit that not every veteran knows about. The program I’m highlighting today in Bankruptcy in Indiana is called Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit, and, as one of my Columbus bankruptcy lawyer colleagues reminded me, goes all the way back to 1952, when Congress created the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Why, you may ask, does it fall to a lawyer for bankruptcy in Indiana like me (and to elder law attorneys and financial planners) to spread the word that these benefits are available to veterans and to their surviving spouses? Why isn’t the VA telling people about them?
Well, as someone who makes a tremendous effort to spread Indiana bankruptcy information, I was just plain shocked to learn the answer to that question: Fact is, the VA has a “non-information” policy. Even though the VA must set aside funds every year, they are under no obligation to inform potential recipients that they qualify for benefits!
So here I am, dealing with veterans needing payday loan debt help and sometimes student loan debt help, desperately in need of more income, and I learn that, nationally, $22 BILLION a year in veterans’ pension money goes unspent because many vets are complete unaware the program exists!
That’s just one more big reason I hope that Hoosiers (and disabled or senior veterans in particular) will consult with an Indiana bankruptcy attorney at the very first signs of financial difficulty, and not wait until things have gotten so bad they can’t stand it any more!
When I’m helping clients prepare to file either bankruptcy Chapter 7 in Indiana, or to file using Chapter 13 bankruptcy law, a good number of the decisions I discuss with them center around income. And that’s precisely where the VA Regular Aid and Attendance pension could play such an important role. Here are some general features of the program:
It’s meant for veterans (or their surviving spouses) who need another person in their home to help them with activities of daily living, such as help with eating, bathing, dressing, handling financial affairs, taking medications, etc.. The program also covers blind people.
It’s easy to see how such a pension might help veterans who file Chapter 13 bankruptcy to keep up with their 3-5 year debt repayment plans and successfully emerge from bankruptcy.
The veteran or spouse is in an assisted living facility or nursing home.
The benefit is a monthly pension to help with non-service-related disabilities (in other words, they don’t have to have sustained the damage in the course of serving in the military).
It’s easy to see how having this kind of income can save homes and help stop foreclosure!
The veteran can have served in World War I or II, the Korean War, the Viet Nam war, or in the Persian Gulf war.
- In 2012, the benefit can be as high as $1703 per month (tax-free) per veteran (as much as $2019 for a married veteran).
Anyone can see how these monthly pension amounts could make an enormous difference to veterans struggling with debt. Fortunately, the good bankruptcy attorneys in Indiana have no “non-information” policy!
Categorised in: Bankruptcy Indiana
This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg