Significant Proposed Changes to Minnesota Veterans Homes Rules

November 17, 2021  |  Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.

By: Cathryn Reher

While there has been a great deal of publicity about the ground-breaking ceremonies around the state for additional Minnesota Veterans Homes, far less publicized are the 88 pages of proposed changes to the Minnesota Rules. These proposed changes will impact both veterans and their spouses whether they currently reside, or have future plans to reside, at one of these facilities. 

The current rules can be viewed at:

You will want to check out the proposed rule changes at:

From an initial review of the proposed rule changes, many are adverse or more restrictive than under the current rules. If you read the MDVA description of the proposed rule changes, you would have no idea what changes are afoot. For instance, one of the proposed changes will impact a current and future facility resident’s holding a real property interest in the form of a life estate. The change adopts a valuation method for a life estate which could result in as much as a twenty to thirty percent increase in the equity value allocated to a Veterans Home resident. 

If the life estate were sold, the resident’s maintenance charge would increase until the full value of the interest, along with other available assets, was reduced below $3,000. For any persons holding the rest of the interest in the real property, this rule would reduce their equity ownership interest proportionately. Also, the real property of the resident that used to be non-saleable and disregarded may need to be perpetually listed for sale by the resident.

Unfortunately, this change is just the first of many that will negatively affect veterans. With 88 pages of changes and a short time to respond, it will be difficult to understand the full implications of these changes for veterans and their spouses. Unless there are 25 or more written requests for a hearing by 4:30 p.m. on November 23, 2021, these proposed rule changes automatically will be adopted without a public hearing.  To learn more about how to comment and/or request a public hearing, visit:

Most veterans are not aware that they and their spouses might be eligible for long-term care benefits through federal VA veterans’ benefits and/or the Minnesota Veterans Homes. I am a VA-certified planner and have worked with Minnesota Veterans Homes for 25 years assisting veterans and their spouses to understand the eligibility rules. When working with me, I advise on the best approach to plan an estate to protect resources for veterans and their spouses in need of long-term care or wanting to plan ahead. One of the challenges to this planning is there are waitlists for admission to the Veterans Homes (which is one area of proposed change in the proposed rules). Thus, part of planning is to make sure that any proposal around admission to a veterans home also contemplates qualifying for medical assistance to pay for long-term care. 

Unfortunately, medical assistance laws and policies are much trickier. It is critical that any plan for the Veterans Homes also enable qualification or not adversely impact eligibility for medical assistance. 

Finding local counsel with the level of expertise needed to complete technical long-term care planning is not always possible. There simply may not be resources within a firm to commit to this type of law. For veterans and their spouses statewide, I can assist locally and remotely with your long-term care planning needs.