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

A live 90-minute CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Monday, May 20, 2024 (in 1 day)

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

or call 1-800-926-7926

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


The VA rules significantly impact the eligibility for veterans and spouses to receive aid and pension benefits. Counsel must be fully versed in the 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 latest rules alter the eligibility criteria, with added methods for 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 VA rules, the use of trusts or annuities and other planning techniques, along with specific transfer of assets, can negatively impact an application for benefits.

Listen as Colleen D. Bratkovich, Partner at Zacharia Brown, discusses the issues in determining eligibility for VA benefits, challenges in the valuation of assets, transfer rules, and best practices to avoid penalties.



  1. Overview of the VA benefits rules
  2. Determining net worth 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 VA rules


The panelist will review these and other key issues:

  • 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 current rules
  • Understanding the impact of VA benefits rules on asset transfers and trust funding
  • Utilizing trusts and annuities
  • Look-back and penalty periods and avoiding triggers
  • Calculating transfer penalties


Bratkovich, Colleen
Colleen D. Bratkovich

Zacharia Brown

Ms. Bratkovich is a Partner at Zacharia Brown and practices in the areas of Medicaid Planning and Eligibility,...  |  Read More

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You may pre-order a recording to listen at your convenience. Recordings are available 48 hours after the webinar. Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

CLE On-Demand Video