Does Your Injury Settlement Affect Your VA Benefits?
By Grace Hancock
November 11th is Veterans’ Day where we honor veterans who served our country. In observance of Veterans’ Day, we are sharing useful information to benefit veterans and their survivors.
If you are a veteran who receives Veterans Disability benefits and has recently been in an accident, then keep reading. In this article, we explain how your Veterans Disability benefits affect your personal injury settlement.
How Your Settlement Affects Your VA Disability Pension Benefits
The Office of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers disability pension benefits to veterans and their surviving family members. Don’t confuse Veterans Disability Pension with Veterans Disability Compensation, the latter of which we’ll touch on later.
If a veteran receives VA Disability Pension benefits, then they may also qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound allowances. It is important to note that veterans cannot receive both Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits at the same time.
Aid and Attendance provide monthly payments that are added to the monthly VA pension of qualified veterans and survivors.
If You Accept a Lump Sum Settlement From Your Injury Case
Aid and Attendance, like VA Disability Pension benefits, is a benefit given on a needs basis. So, receiving a personal injury settlement can affect a Veteran’s ability to qualify for it. If a veteran agrees to a lump sum settlement, then the VA will treat it as an income and annualize it. For example, the receipt of a $100,000 settlement counts as an income of about $8,333 per month.
If the same veteran is receiving Aid and Attendance benefits, then their personal injury settlement could lower their amount of benefits. But this is only if their unreimbursed medical expenses do not exceed 5% of the maximum pension rate. The veteran will otherwise lose their Aid and Attendance benefits for the next twelve months.
If You Accept a Structured Settlement From Your Injury Case
In a structured settlement, the defendant agrees to pay the plaintiff a series of payments, instead of a lump sum payment. If the plaintiff is receiving VA benefits, then the VA will reduce their benefits by the amount the plaintiff receives from the settlement. If the amount they receive exceeds $1,830 per month, then the veteran will stop receiving VA Disability Pension benefits. Also, the veteran will not be able to receive VA Disability Pension benefits for as long as they receive their structured settlement payouts.
Does Your Injury Settlement Affect Your VA Disability Compensation Benefits?
VA Disability Compensation benefits are available to veterans who were sick or injured during the course of their service. Veterans may also qualify for these benefits if their time serving caused an existing condition to worsen.
Your personal injury settlement will not affect your Veterans Disability Compensation benefits.
Hancock Injury Attorneys Honors Our Veterans
In short, it is important to know if your personal injury settlement affects your Veterans Disability Pension or Compensation benefits. Which type of VA benefit you receive will determine whether your personal injury settlement is affected.
But no matter what your situation, our doors are always open to veterans. Attorney Mike Hancock has been earning veteran clients the compensation they deserve since 1998. Contact us online or call us at (813) 915-1110 to schedule a free case consultation today.