When a single patient with a Veterans Administration pension is awarded Medicaid nursing home benefits, the patient’s VA pension is reduced to $90 per month if the patient has no spouse or dependents. 38 USC Sec. 5503 (d)(2). This $90 per month, sometimes referred to as the limited VA pension, is retained by the patient and not part of the co-payment payable to the nursing home.
If the patient has additional income beyond his VA pension, the patient will also retain $60 per month as a “regular” personal needs allowance (PNA), provided that his additional income is $60 per month or more. If the patient’s additional income is less than $60, then the patient will be allowed to keep all of his additional income as well as the $90 limited VA pension. A VA pensioner without an additional source of income will only have his $90 limited VA pension for a PNA but will not have a co-payment payable to the nursing home; there is no mechanism for increasing the PNA in such an instance.
For most cases of an unmarried VA pensioner going on Medicaid, his effective PNA will be $150 per month.