Can I Use Past Medical Expenses to Qualify for VA Benefits?

The short answer to this question is no.  When applying for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit, the VA does not typically look at past medical expenses. Instead, you will be required to estimate medical expenses you will incur during the next twelve months. In some rare cases, the VA may allow you to claim past medical expenses in order to qualify. This occurs most often where a claimant has a very large medical bill and has negotiated a set ongoing monthly payment with the hospital or doctor.
Medical expenses can include medical insurance premiums, prescription drug copays, assisted living rent, nursing home costs, payments to a caregiver (including a child or other family member who is providing care), incontinence supplies, and many other types of expenses.
It is relatively simple to predict some expenses.  For example, if you live in an assisted living community, you may use your monthly assisted living rent as a recurring medical expense. If you have in-home care, you may take an average of the monthly cost you pay for this care. Don’t forget that payments to a child or other family member who is providing care can qualify as a medical expense if properly documented.
Predicting how much medication will cost over the course of a year can be more complicated.  The VA has rules about which types of medications count toward medical expenses.  For example, the VA does not recognize non-recurring drugs, like antibiotics, for the purpose of medical expenses.  The rules about medical expenses are complex and can become confusing if you are not aware of what documentation the VA will require.
If you have concerns about whether you are listing your medical expenses correctly, and/or to make sure that you have enough medical expenses to qualify for the VA pension, you may benefit from consulting with an attorney or other professional who specializes in the VA Aid and Attendance benefit. Just remember that anyone who works with you to get this benefit must be accredited with the VA. To determine whether some is accredited, please visit http://www.va.gov/ogc/apps/accreditation/index.asp.

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