Veterans’ Survivors Benefits and the Disabled Child

How can a disabled child of a deceased military veteran receive the veteran’s Survival Benefits and still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income and other public benefits based upon financial need?

Until now, a disabled child of a deceased veteran could receive the veteran’s Survivor Benefits, but they would be counted as income when determining their eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and other benefits. It may add up to too much thus disqualifying the child for them. This all changed on December 12, 2014 when Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 (NDAA). This Act provided among other things that disabled children of a deceased veteran can now have the Veterans Survivor Benefits going to a Special Needs Trust rather than directly to them. Thus, the disabled child would remain eligible for needs-based government benefits which are essential to the disabled child’s care. These assets can now be held in a trust for the disabled child without being considered as the child’s assets in determining their eligibility for Medicaid or SSI. They can now use these funds to pay for everyday living expenses and other care above that which the government provides and still not be disqualified for those government benefits. 

Thus, the veteran doing his service can have a little extra piece of mind knowing that the Survivor Benefits will not impede the disabled child’s ability to obtain government benefits so necessary to their well-being.

If you have questions about Veterans’ Benefits, contact us today.



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