The Mount Clemens veterans benefits lawyers here at our firm are proud to be able to provide assistance to people who have served in the United States armed forces. These men and women are willing to put it all the line to preserve our sovereignty and independence, and they deserve our gratitude, respect, and admiration. There is really no way to adequately repay veterans for their sacrifices, but there are some veterans benefits that can be of great assistance for many people that served.
We help people that are planning ahead for retirement, and we always emphasize the fact that it is important to understand the limitations of Social Security. Obviously, this figure changes slightly on a continual basis, so we are not going to use an exact number. However, suffice to say that over the last couple of years, the average Social Security benefit was less than $1400 per month.
The exact amount of your Social Security benefit is calculated based on the 35 years during which you earned the most amount of money in your life. There is a maximum amount of income that can be taxed for Social Security purposes. In 2017, the figure was $127,200, and 35 years before that in 1982, it was $32,400.
You would receive the maximum Social Security benefit if your earnings were consistently at or above the maximum figure over the course of 35 years. Approximately six percent of taxpayers exceed the maximum in any given year, so very few people are entitled to the maximum benefit. Last year, the maximum Social Security benefit was $2687 a month, which equates to just over $32,000 a year. Even if you were one of the few people that received the maximum benefit, it can be described as modest.
If you are among the vast majority of people who would not be able to live on Social Security alone, you have to ask yourself how you will ever be able to put your working years behind you. Contributing into a 401(k) plan at work will help, but a pension would certainly make a huge difference. There are not a lot of jobs that offer pensions these days, but military service members can in fact qualify for a retirement pension after serving for a minimum of 20 years.
The entire retirement outlook changes when you are a member of the armed forces. You could spend your entire career serving well beyond the 20 year minimum and your pension benefit would be in line with the pay you were receiving just before you retire. It would also be possible to retire after 20 years or so, start to receive a pension, and embark on a career in the private sector.
Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension
In addition to this retirement pension that service members can receive after at least two decades in uniform, there is another military pension that many people have never heard about. The benefit that we are referring to is called the Veterans Aid and Attendance special pension. If you have served for at least one day during a time of war out of a total stint of 90 consecutive days or more, you satisfy the length of service requirement for eligibility for this pension.
This benefit is available to eligible veterans that need help with their activities of daily living because of physical limitations. We should point out the fact that the health challenges do not have to be the result of injuries that were suffered while the benefit recipient was serving in the military. Acceptable medical proof must be presented that proves that the applicant does in fact need living assistance.
There is also a means test, because the Veterans Aid and Attendance special pension is intended for former service members that have financial need. If you own a home and you are applying for the benefit, its value would not be counted, and your vehicle and your personal belongings would be exempt as well. The general rule of thumb when it comes to the maximum amount of countable assets that you can possess is $80,000, but this is not set in stone. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis based on all of the facts that are presented.
Schedule a Consultation Right Now!
If you would like to have a meaningful discussion with one of our Mount Clemens veterans benefits attorneys, we would be glad to provide you with a consultation. You can set up an appointment if you give us a call at 586-493-7661, and you can send us a message through our contact page if you would prefer to reach out electronically.