38 USC 1722 - Determination of inability to defray necessary expenses; income thresholds

(a) For the purposes of section 1710 (a)(2)(G) of this title, a veteran shall be considered to be unable to defray the expenses of necessary care if
(1) the veteran is eligible to receive medical assistance under a State plan approved under title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.);
(2) the veteran is in receipt of pension under section 1521 of this title; or
(3) the veterans attributable income is not greater than the amount set forth in subsection (b).

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(b) 
(1) For purposes of subsection (a)(3), the income threshold for the calendar year beginning on January 1, 1990, is
(A) $17,240 in the case of a veteran with no dependents; and
(B) $20,688 in the case of a veteran with one dependent, plus $1,150 for each additional dependent.
(2) For a calendar year beginning after December 31, 1990, the amounts in effect for purposes of this subsection shall be the amounts in effect for the preceding calendar year as adjusted under subsection (c) of this section.
(c) Effective on January 1 of each year, the amounts in effect under subsection (b) of this section shall be increased by the percentage by which the maximum rates of pension were increased under section 5312 (a) of this title during the preceding calendar year.
(d) 
(1) Notwithstanding the attributable income of a veteran, the Secretary may refuse to make a determination described in paragraph (2) of this subsection if the corpus of the estate of the veteran is such that under all the circumstances it is reasonable that some part of the corpus of the estate of the veteran be consumed for the veterans maintenance.
(2) A determination described in this paragraph is a determination that for purposes of subsection (a)(3) of this section a veterans attributable income is not greater than the amount determined under subsection (b) of this section.
(3) For the purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection, the corpus of the estate of a veteran shall be determined in the same manner as the manner in which determinations are made of the corpus of the estates of persons under section 1522 of this title.

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(e) 
(1) In order to avoid a hardship to a veteran described in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Secretary may deem the veteran to have an attributable income during the previous year not greater than the amount determined under subsection (b) of this section.
(2) A veteran is described in this paragraph for the purposes of subsection (a) of this section if
(A) the veteran has an attributable income greater than the amount determined under subsection (b) of this section; and
(B) the current projections of such veterans income for the current year are that the veterans income for such year will be substantially below the amount determined under subsection (b).
(f) For purposes of this section:
(1) The term attributable income means the income of a veteran for the previous year determined in the same manner as the manner in which a determination is made of the total amount of income by which the rate of pension for such veteran under section 1521 of this title would be reduced if such veteran were eligible for pension under that section.
(2) The term corpus of the estate of the veteran includes the corpus of the estates of the veterans spouse and dependent children, if any.
(3) The term previous year means the calendar year preceding the year in which the veteran applies for care or services under section 1710 (a) of this title.
(g) For the purposes of section 1724 (c) of this title, the fact that a veteran is
(1) eligible to receive medical assistance under a State plan approved under title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.);
(2) a veteran with a service-connected disability; or
(3) in receipt of pension under any law administered by the Secretary,

shall be accepted as sufficient evidence of such veterans inability to defray necessary expenses.