'Checks for Vets' helps vets access pensions

Thursday - 11/11/2010, 6:32pm EST

Joseph Scott McCarthy, author, "Checks for Vets"

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If you're a veteran, you may be eligible to receive nearly $20,000 a year for long-term care.

Veterans "know about the GI bill. They know about home loans, but people don't know about aid and attendance pensions," said Joseph Scott McCarthy, a veterans advocate, in an interview with the DorobekINSIDER.

McCarthy is the author of Checks for Vets, a guidebook to help vets through the process to claim their VA pension.

McCarthy said vets are eligible for up to $1,644 a month for assisted living, and surviving spouses up to $1,056. If both vet and spouse need assisted living, the couple can received up to $1,949 a month. Also, this pension is tax-free.

"This can be the difference maker between struggling at home and not really getting good care, versus living in a beautiful assisted living center," McCarthy said.

Between the VA pension and the average social security check, people can pay for most of the cost of a private room in an assisted living center, McCarthy said.

"The best way of honoring our veterans is putting a check in their pockets to help them afford the care so many desperately need now," he said.