VA Form 21P-0969 is a new Department of Veterans Affairs form. Most claimants applying for the aid and attendance pension will need to complete and submit VA Form 21P-0969 as part of their claim for VA benefits.
This article will explain why the Department of Veterans Affairs created VA Form 21P-0969 and which applicants need to complete this form. We will also offer some tips to ensure successful completion of this form.
VA Form 21P-0969: Why It Exists
The 0969 didn’t exist prior to October 18th, 2018. The VA made a few major rule changes to the Aid and Attendance pension that became effective on that date.
The VA implemented a 36 month look back period, similar to the Medicaid look-back period. Before the rule changes, the VA didn’t have a look-back period. An applicant for aid and attendance pension could “gift” or transfer assets (bank accounts, CD’s, etc…) one week and apply for benefits the next week. The new 36 month look back period ended this gifting strategy, except for one major exception.
Therefore, one reason the VA created VA Form 21P-0969 was to ask applicants applying for aid and attendance pension if they had transferred or gifted assets in the last 36 months.
The rule changes implemented October 18th, 2018 treat the purchase of most annuities and most irrevocable trusts unfavorably. VA Form 21P-0969 specifically asks claimants about purchases of annuities and transfers of assets into trusts.
The VA wants to know about gifting, which means transfers of assets for less than fair market value. VA Form 21P-0969 exists to help the VA discover and penalize applicants that have made gifts which are not compliant with VA regulations.
VA Form 21P-0969: Who Needs To Complete It
At least 80 percent of veterans and surviving spouses applying for aid and attendance benefits will need to complete this form. The following applicants must complete the 0969:
- Those who receive income other than Social Security
- Those who have more than $10,000 in assets
- Those who gave away assets in the last 36 months
- Those who purchased an annuity in the last 36 months
- Those who established a trust in the last 36 months
As you can see, most veterans and surviving spouses applying for aid and attendance pension will need to complete VA Form 21P-0969. Failure to complete this form will result in a request for more information letter from the VA, which will delay your claim.
VA Form 21P-0969: Tips
Most applicants that will complete VA Form 21P-0969 either have multiple sources of income or more than $10,000 in assets. In most cases, applicants won’t have purchased an annuity, established a trust, or gifted assets.
Therefore, the key to successfully completing the 0969 is including the appropriate supporting documentation. What does this mean? If the applicant receives a retirement benefit or a pension, they should include the prior year 1099-R or a statement from the pension provider that reports the current gross income.
If the applicant has over $10,000 in assets, they must include current balances for all bank accounts and other financial accounts. If you receive income from one of these accounts, make sure that the statement reports the gross income received. Even though the VA now has a 36 month look back period, you do not need to provide the VA with 36 months of statements. Using the EaZy Apps software will make completing VA Form 21P-0969 a much more simple and stress free proposition.