Questions & Answers


Does a person have to have a service-connected injury or illness to receive a VA pension?

No, such benefits are called “compensation.” VA pension is considered supplemental income for wartime Veterans or surviving spouses. It is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to low-income, wartime veterans or their surviving spouses who meet certain qualifications. Out-of-pocket medical expenses can be used to offset countable income. Those who are eligible and are housebound, or require the aid and attendance of another person, may be eligible for an additional payment.

What is a Living Will/Advance Care Plan? 

“Living Will” is the term used in Tennessee’s prior law. In 2004, Tennessee law changed the name of the form “Living Will” to “Advance Care Plan”. An Advance Care Plan is a document that tells your doctor how you want to be treated if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious. You can use a Living Will/Advance Care Plan to tell your doctor you want to avoid life-prolonging interventions such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), kidney dialysis or breathing machines. You can use this form to tell your doctor you just want to be pain free and comfortable at the end of life. You may also add other special instructions or limitations in your form. 

I was asked to sign an Advance Beneficiary Notice by my doctor. What is it?

If you have Original Medicare and your doctor or other supplier/provider thinks Medicare probably won’t pay for items or services, they may give you a written notice called Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage. It is not required for items or services that Medicare never covers. It should list the items or services that Medicare isn’t expected to pay for, an estimate for the costs, and the reasons Medicare may not pay. The purpose of the notice is to give you information to make an informed choice about whether to get the items, understanding that you may have to pay for them.


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