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What assets figure into my eligibility for veterans' benefits?

You've raised children. You've defended our great nation. As you age, you find that your body isn't as agile as it once was. Perhaps you feel a bit of comfort knowing that you have earned veterans' benefits, which will lessen the burden of any expenses from medical care you may need, without relying on your children or anyone else.

However, you may have a bit of unease over the volatility of the economy, and the stability of the healthcare on which you rely.

Eligibility begins with enrollment, and veterans can do this online. Veterans will fall into one of four groups based upon priority. You are eligible for benefits as long as you were released or discharged in a way that was anything but dishonorable from the active military, naval, air service, reservists or National Guard. However, the latter two have a few additional requirements involving active duty completion when called to serve federally.

There is a financial assessment done to determine whether you are below VA income thresholds and whether there will be a cost for your care, including copays. This assessment looks at your net worth through your total household income, including retirement pay, Social Security, unemployment insurance, dividends, interest, workers' compensation, black lung benefits as well as any other sources of income.

Be prepared for other assets to be evaluated, including investment properties, stocks, bonds, notes, IRAs, checking accounts, savings and cash assets.

Obviously, you may have concerns if you have assets you intend to use or that you want to bestow to your children. This is a part of your legacy but could push you out of the income threshold that allows you veteran's benefits. If you are in a situation where you want to maintain your assets without losing valuable medical benefits, a Florida attorney well versed in veteran's benefits may be able to help you successfully do both.

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