"My step-father, who served in the Korean War, is in the process of applying for VA Aid & Attendance benefits. The instructions discuss reporting gifts. How far back does one need to report gifts, and what gifts need to be reported, and where on the application does one report such gifts?"

Answer:  These are all very good questions and there are no specific laws or guidelines from which to follow (the VA is purportedly revising the instructions to be clearer).  

I would not report regular gifts like holidays, etc. or to charity or gifts made a long time ago that when made were not in consideration of qualifying for VA benefits.  However, if transfers of assets were made in order to qualify for VA benefits (i.e. a bank account was transferred from dad to child), then I would report that on the application form (Part XIII Remarks, block 45).  I would put the amount, the date, and to whom the gift was made, and if true, a statement that the person who received the gift does not live in the same household as the veteran. 

I would not report a transfer of any “exempt” assets, such as the house, cars, personal property.

Victoria L. Collier, Attorney at Law
Collier & St. Clair, LLP
Decatur, Georgia  30030
Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance, Georgia chapter

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