Last year in January (2015), the Department of Veterans Affairs published lengthy new regulations which would dramatically affect veterans and their widows receipt of the Aid & Attendance pension. The proposed regulations elicited approximately 900 comments to the VA, overwhelmingly negative. Yet, since the first quarter of last year, advocates for veterans have heard only rumors about the effective date… of these harsh changes and an ambiguous date of 01/00/2016 posted on the docket where the proposed changes were published. This date has come … and it has gone … and nothing final has been published.
In the last few days, VA has updated this docket and has published a new effective date for these regulations: 12/00/2016.
Another source close to the VA: The lobbyist for the Special Needs Alliance (an invitation only national organization of attorneys dedicated to special needs practice) spoke to a staffer within the VA. He was advised the rule will likely come out after the first of the year. He was also told that the VA has indeed made changes to the proposed regulations following the end of the comment period; yet none of these changes have been made available to advocates. It was purported that the VA legal counsel is reviewing the latest draft. And, the Office of Budget and Management has not been given the regulations for review. This leads most advocates to believe that … If the final rule has not been published in the Federal Register, it should not be implemented. Here is a brief video explaining the Aid & Attendance pension benefit available to veterans and their spouses.