Net worth means the net value of the assets of the veteran and his or her dependents. It includes such assets as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and any property other than the veteran's residence and a reasonable lot area.
There is no set limit on how much net worth a veteran and his dependents can have, but net worth cannot be excessive. The decision as to whether a claimant's net worth is excessive depends on the facts of each individual case. All net worth should be reported and Veterans Affairs (VA) will determine if a claimant's assets are sufficiently large that the claimant could live off these assets for a reasonable period of time. VA's needs-based programs are not intended to protect substantial assets or build up an estate for the benefit of heirs.
There are exclusions to income or deductions that may be made to reduce countable income. The following are examples of what may be excluded:
- Certain other expenses, such as a veteran's education expenses, and in some cases, a portion of the educational expenses of a child over 18 are deductible
- Many other specific sources of income are not considered income, however, all income should be reported. VA will exclude any income that the law allows
- A portion of unreimbursed medical expenses paid by the claimant after VA receives the claimant's pension claim may be deducted (These are expense you have paid for medical services or products for which you will not be reimbursed by Medicare or private medical insurance)
- Public assistance such as Supplemental Security Income is not considered income