On September 18, the Veterans Administration (VA) published new rules that make it more difficult to qualify for the VA non-service connected pension benefit called aid and attendance. VA increased the difficulty in eligibility by penalizing gifts, uncompensated transfers, or sales for less than fair market value that were made in the past 36 months, either to a family member or to an irrevocable trust. This is significant because these legal and ethical estate planning strategies done years before hand might cause an applicant for benefits to be ineligible even though he or she otherwise meets the eligibility criteria. VA imposes the same look back and penalty for investing in an annuity. The maximum penalty for gifting and investing in annuities is 5 years depending on the amount of the gift. Continue reading about Veterans Benefits at more info about VA.