New VA Benefits Rules: Determining Eligibility, Valuation of Assets, Look-Back Periods, Transfer Rules, Penalties

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide elder counsel with guidance on essential rules and planning techniques relating to the new Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits rules. The panel will discuss issues in determining eligibility for VA benefits under the new rules, valuation of assets, transfer rules, the impact on the use of trusts and annuities, and best practices to avoid penalties.


The VA issued final rules that drastically changed the eligibility for veterans and spouses to receive aid and pension benefits. The new rules took effect on Oct. 18, 2018, and counsel must be fully versed in the new rules to ensure clients are eligible for benefits, and understand how to avoid or reduce the risk of penalties.

The VA offers benefits to veterans or surviving spouses to cover the costs of custodial care and activities of daily living (ADLs) subject to certain income and asset limitations. The final rules alter the eligibility criteria, adding new methods in calculating net worth and assets, in addition to other essential items, to determine benefits eligibility.

A variety of transactions can trigger penalties or render a veteran ineligible for benefits. Under the new rules, the use of trusts or annuities and other planning techniques, along with certain transfer of assets, can negatively impact an application for benefits.

Listen as our panel discusses the issues in determining eligibility for VA benefits under the new rules, challenges in the valuation of assets, transfer rules, and best practices to avoid penalties.



  1. Overview and key takeaways of the VA benefits final rules
  2. Determining net worth under under Reg. Section 3.274(a)-(b)
  3. Rules regarding residential real property
  4. Impact on asset transfers or trust funding to qualify for potential VA benefits
  5. Transfer penalties under new Reg. Section 2.276(e)
  6. Best practices in navigating the new VA rule changes


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • New provisions of the final VA benefits rules
  • Determining net worth and tips to maintain VA benefits eligibility
  • Specific rules regarding residential real property
  • Deductible medical expenses and expansion of custodial care and ADLs under the new rules
  • Understanding the impact of new VA benefits rules on asset transfers and trust funding
  • Impact on the new rules on the use of trusts and annuities
  • Look-back and penalty periods and avoiding triggers
  • Calculating transfer penalties under the new rules


Murphy, Jodi
Jodi E. Murphy

Murphy & Berglund

Mrs. Murphy’s practice includes, but is not limited to, trust and estate planning, probate, guardianship planning...  |  Read More

Peterson, Valerie
Valerie Peterson

Chief Executive Officer

Before joining ElderCounsel, Ms. Peterson focused her practice in the areas of elder law and estate planning. She is a...  |  Read More

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