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How do Medi-Cal and veteran benefits intersect?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | Medi-Cal and Long Term Care Planning

Long-term care planning for veterans often involves navigating and coordinating multiple benefit programs. Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, and the Veterans Affairs (VA) Aid and Attendance program are two significant resources. The Veterans Benefits Enhancement Program has recently emerged as an additional resource. A comprehensive understanding of these programs is essential for strategic planning.

Medi-Cal provides health coverage to eligible low-income residents, including veterans. VA Aid and Attendance offer additional financial assistance to veterans who require help with daily activities. The Veterans Benefits Enhancement Program aims to help veterans receive benefits they may not know they’re eligible for, further expanding available support.

Navigating the intricacies of benefits coordination

Coordinating benefits from Medi-Cal and VA Aid and Attendance requires strategic planning. The Veterans Benefits Enhancement Program plays a crucial role here, assisting veterans in identifying and applying for benefits. However, as Medi-Cal is needs-based, the VA Aid and Attendance income could affect eligibility, making careful planning critical.

Planning proactively is critical

Proactive planning entails understanding the eligibility requirements of all three programs, how they interplay, and the potential impact on the veteran’s financial situation. Proper advice can ensure that assets and income are arranged to maintain eligibility for all relevant benefits. 

Don’t wait until the last minute to plan because of retroactive periods during which asset transfers and sales can impact benefits. By taking action as early as possible, you can potentially preserve assets to pass down to your heirs. Of course, this must be done in a very specific manner, so working with someone who’s familiar with these matters is beneficial.