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Thursday, July 03, 2014


Wow! You must have spent many hours researching this. My head hurts from reading all this. I am a VietNam era veteran (USMC 1968-1972)and never heard of any of this. I'm retired now and getting by on Social Security, although I do have sizeable assets in an IRA that so far I haven't had to touch. Thanks to RV-Dreams my needs are pretty simple; downsizing and simplifying have made a big difference. I'm partially disabled now having to use a walker. I can still drive, when I can get to the car - swiveling my foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal is pretty easy. When I can't do that any more it will be time for elder care, either in my home (which is paid for) or some kind of elder care facility. Thanks for the information. Can you put it on a separate page so it's easier to find?

Wow--thanks so much Howard for your research! Mike's Dad is also 92 and a WWII veteran. His net worth is probably too much to quality for any assistance but I'm going to do some checking. Not long ago a person affiliated with the VA came to their Senior Center where Nat has lunch every day and noticed Nat's inability to hear--Nat thought he was completing paperwork to help pay for a new hearing aid--no, Nat now gets a small pension each month to compensate him for his hearing loss which probably occurred while serving on B29 aircraft over the Pacific. Thanks again Howard for the great info!!

Wow, Howard! Your timing could not have been more perfect. We had just begun the arduous process of researching this as my Dad entered a Health Care Facility last month due to his advancing Alzheimer’s. His service as an Air Traffic Controller in the Air Force during the Korean conflict would make him eligible for benefits. I have forwarded your information to my Mom as well. We can’t thank you enough for your continual generous sharing.

Hugs, Jim (& Linda)

Awesome post. Mark & I are also facing disabled parents and this benefit is, as you say, HUGE! Thanks for your lengthy explanation and link info. It will help many of us.

This is great information, thank you so much for sharing what you researched! This could make a huge difference for my MIL who, at 89, is having to make some decisions about her declining ability to live alone. As a surviving spouse she may indeed be eligible :-). You rock!!

This a great article and contains real gold for eligible vets and spouses. I printed it out and we have it on permanent file. We will discuss this and refer back to your blog on this week's podcast.

Howard, you are definitely "the gift that keeps on giving." Throughout your RV tenure you have regularly provided valuable information to "your followers." This is probably the most significant piece of research provided to date. I am military retired but was not aware of the Survivors Benefit potential for the nonmilitary survivor till reading this.

You definitely have Barrister potential. Much appreciated.


Great, detailed summary.
Pitfalls as you mention are the detailed applications. I did so for my Korean War Vet Father. After several months it came back for fixing some inadvertant ommisions. Then rejected as his income was just a little too high for the twice a week caregiver regimen we instituted while we traveled for a few months each year. Then his condition worsened and we ratained 5 day/week care and reapplied. Unfortunately he passed away before we were able to resolve that with the VA (He was spending all his income on the home care). I'm sure if we would have had to put him in a Nursing home we could have gotten his benefit, but alas that did not become necessary.
Service and response from the VA was slow, but acceptable.
If I had to do it over again I would retain a VA (like Social Security Disability) expert.

Wonderful job Howard. As always impressed by the lengths you will go to to find the true information. My father is a Vietnam vet and although at current does not meet the income requirement, you never know what the future holds. Good to have this information in my back pocket.

Howard, do you know if a non-revocable trust serves as asset protection for this benefit?

Howard this post brought back memories of signing my dad up for VA benefits. I found out from a third party that my dad may be elegible for VA diasbility benefits. He served in the Army during WWII.
Long story short, due to the backlog, it took nearly two years for the benefits to begin flowing. The VA did retroactively pay from his start date which was set once the VA approved all of the submitted paprwork.

Thanks Howard.
Great information. I will certainly look into this. Much appreciated


Check with an accredited agent or eldercare attorney, but I believe an irrevocable trust would be an acceptable transfer of assets for this benefit.


I am late to read this but it is clearly highly useful (although not to me). I am sure you have thought of this, but I would encourage you to expand it and turn this into an ebook to potentially increase the readership (and monetize it). You deserve to be compensated for all your hard work on this.
For those having troubles with the VA, some (but not all) congressional or senatorial offices have good constituent services that can help, and I will bet many offices will find new information in this post.

I am about to take the big FT plunge and already receive VA benefits. I am trying to find out what the VA residency requirements are. I wonder if they'll let me live in my RV, or should I just do a change in my address with one of the mail forwarding services?
I receive Social Security too, and don't want to get in trouble with either one. Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions.

Howard, Thank you so much for all this information. I am former military retired and am single. This information will be invaluable when it comes time for me to need this extra care. I do not want to burden my family when I may be eligible for the necessary benefits that would take care of my needs. It is amazing that this information has come at this time. I have friends who are veterans from the Vietnam era who are in need of assistance. I am going to pass this on to my friends who are also veterans. Learned about this from John and Cathy's POD cast - Living the RV Dream.

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