Mom and Dad are separated, but not divorced. Will Mom’s assets be counted on Dad’s VA Application?

Many couples choose to separate without ever becoming divorced. This can cause confusion when it comes to completing the application for the VA Aid and Attendance Pension. Normally, the VA requires married applicants to provide financial information for both spouses. If your parents are separated, this could mean that Dad has to provide Mom’s financial information to the VA even though they no longer live as a married couple, which could affect his eligibility for the VA pension.
Despite this potential difficulty, there is a way to solve this problem. If it can be proven that neither spouse has knowledge of the other’s financial situation, neither spouse contributes financial resources to the other, and that the couple does not file a joint tax return, then the veteran may be able to apply as a single veteran.
If accepted by the VA, this means that he will not be required to report his spouse’s assets or income on the application. However, it is still important for the veteran to disclose all of his martial information on the VA application, then state that he is separated, show that he has no knowledge of his spouse’s financial information, and state that he is therefore filing as a single veteran. If you believe that proving that the veteran is single could be difficult, it may be helpful to submit a Statement in Support of Claim (VA Form 21-4138) signed by a third party who has knowledge of the separation.
Each veteran has unique circumstances. Because it can be difficult to understand how to complete the VA Application in a way that will allow your parent to receive the maximum amount of benefits available to him, it is important that you consult with an experienced elder law attorney when you decide to apply for VA Benefits.

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