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Medicaid and VA Figures for 2021

The Social Security Administration recently announced its cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 2021.  This adjustment is important not only because many seniors depend on Social Security benefits as their primary source of income.  This adjustment is also applied to many of the other government programs that affect our clients’ lives.

This year’s COLA is 1.3%, less than the 2020 increase which was 1.6%. Recipients will receive notification in December what their new amount will be.  This includes changes to Medicare Parts B and D premiums if applicable.  The COLA affects all programs administered by Social Security, including traditional old age and disability benefits as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Many of the Medicaid numbers are tied to the Social Security increase.  The Medicaid income cap will rise to $2379 per month.  This is the upper limit of monthly income permitted to qualify for many Medicaid programs.  For those exceeding this limit a Qualified Income Trust (also known as a Miller Trust) must be used to achieve and maintain eligibility.

Many aging wartime veterans and their spouses receive benefits under the VA Aid and Attendance program.  These pensions will also increase by the same 1.3%, beginning in December, 2020.  The maximum benefit for a single veteran will increase to $1936.  For a married veteran the maximum monthly pension where the veteran is the one who needs care will increase to $2295 and for a married couple where the non veteran spouse needs the care will be $1520.  For a widowed spouse the monthly benefit will increase to $1244.  The net worth limit for VA eligibility will also increase.  For 2021 it will be $130,772.

Check back here in the coming weeks for some more new numbers for 2021.