THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FriDAy, JUnE 7, 2024 Page 19 SOUNDS| FROM PAGE 18 p.m.; March 15, 2025, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Please contact Solid Waste/ Recycling Coordinator Scott A. Brazis at 781-231-4036 with any questions. Brick program for Saugus War Monument The Saugus War Monument Committee, once again, is sponsoring the Buy-A-Brick Program to honor all those who have served their country. If you would like to purchase one in the name of someone who is presently serving or has served, in the memory of a loved one, or just someone from your family, school, etc., the general pricing is $100 for a 4” X 8” brick (three lines) or $200 for an 8” X 8” brick (fi ve lines). Each line is a maximum of 15 characters. The improvement and upkeep of the monument on the corner of Winter and Central Streets rely on the generosity of donors through fundraising. The brick application must be in by Sept. 10 to ensure the bricks will be ready for Veterans Day. Please contact Corinne Riley at 781-231-7995 for more information and applications. About The Saugus Advocate We welcome press releases, news announcements, freelance articles and courtesy photos from the community. Our deadline is noon Wednesday. If you have a story idea, an article or photo to submit, please email me at mvoge@ comcast.net or leave a message at 978-683-7773. Let us become your hometown newspaper. The Saugus Advocate is available in the Saugus Public Library, the Saugus Senior Center, Saugus Town Hall, local convenience stores and restaurants throughout town. Saugus boys lacrosse team shows resilience in comeback season By Dom Nicastro T he Saugus High School boys lacrosse team fi nished its season with a commendable 6-8 record, just one game shy of a state tournament berth. This season marked a significant comeback for the team, which did not fi eld a program last year due to a lack of participation. Head coach Rob Scuzzarella spoke about the challenges and triumphs of the season in a recent interview. “We had 18 kids, and 15 of those 18 were new to the team,” he said. “It was good to scrounge together a team. We had a couple of seniors come out for the fi rst time, and unfortunately, no juniors. So, unless we get some guys to jump on the lacrosse wagon next year, it looks like we won’t have a senior class.” Despite starting the season with an 0-5 record, the team turned things around, fi nishing with a 6-5 run in their last 11 games. “A lot of that has to do with the teams we played at the beginning of the year,” Scuzzarella explained. “We had to move some games around due to weather-related postponements, which made the start of the season rough. But it was nice to fi nish the season on a positive note.” The team’s youth and inexperience were evident, with only three players having any varsity lacrosse experience. Senior captains Ryan Jones and Cam Preston were among the few with previous experience, although their roles had shifted signifi cantly over the years. “Jones was playing goalie because we didn’t have a goalie at the time, so he wasn’t even playing his position,” Scuzzarella noted. Scuzzarella highlighted the importance of every game, especially for a young team. “To miss the tournament by two games is a positive thing with such a young team,” he said. “I tried to harp on how important every game is. To come down to that last week of the season and potentially miss the tournament by one or two games is a tough lesson but an important one.” Among the standout players were eighth-graders Cam Marchand and Jake Kelley, who finished second and fourth in points for the team, respectively. “It’s phenomenal to see young players perform at such a high level,” said Scuzzarella. “I struggled to fi nd a negative thing to say about any of the eighth graders. They came a really long way in a really short period of time.” Jones led the team in points, fi nishing the season with 56 points and securing an allstar spot. “He’s going to fi nish his career with the fourth most points of anybody that I’ve coached in the last 12 years,” Scuzzarella said. “He missed three out of his four seasons but still managed to leave a signifi cant mark on the program.” Preston also had a remarkable season despite facing signifi cant challenges, including LACROSSE TEAM | SEE PAGE 21 Law Offices of JOSEPH D. CATALDO, P.C. “ATTORNEYS AND COUNSELORS AT LAW” • ESTATE/MEDICAID PLANNING • WILLS/TRUSTS/ESTATES • INCOME TAX PREPARATION • WEALTH MANAGEMENT • RETIREMENT PLANNING • ELDER LAW 369 Broadway Everett, MA 02149 (617)381-9600 JOSEPH D. CATALDO, CPA, CFP, MST, ESQUIRE. AICPA Personal Financial Specialist Designee Say nir Sa ay nior Long-Term Care Benefi ts for y Senior Seni by Jim Miller Veterans and Surviving Spouses To qualify fi nancially your parDear Savvy Senior, I understand that the Veterans Administration has a benefi t that can help veterans and spouses with long-term care costs. We recently had to move my elderly father into an assisted living memory care facility, and my mother will probably need care too in the near future. What can you tell me? Searching for Aid Dear Searching, The Veterans Administration (VA) does indeed have an underutilized benefi t that can help wartime veterans and their surviving spouses pay for a variety of long-term care costs. This benefi t, called “Aid and Attendance,” is a special pension that’s paid on top of existing VA pensions for eligible veterans and surviving spouses. In 2024, it pays a maximum of $2,727 a month to married veterans; $2,300 a month to single veterans; or $1,478 a month to a surviving spouse. The money is tax free, and can be used to pay for assisted living, memory care, nursing home or in-home care services. Currently, around 156,000 veterans and survivors are receiving the Aid and Attendance benefit, but many thousands more are eligible who either don’t know about it or don’t think they qualify. Eligibility Requirements To qualify, your dad must have served at least 90 days of active military service with at least one day of service during a period of war, and not have been discharged dishonorably. Single surviving spouses of wartime vets are eligible if their marriage ended due to death. In addition, your dad will also have to meet certain thresholds for medical and fi nancial need to be eligible. To qualify medically he must be either disabled, or over the age of 65 and need help performing basic everyday living tasks such as eating, bathing, dressing or going to the bathroom. Being blind or in a nursing home due to disability or receiving Social Security Disability or SSI also qualifi es him. Single surviving spouses have no age restrictions, but they must require help with basic everyday living tasks to be eligible. ents “net worth,” which includes assets and annual income combined, must be below $155,356 in 2024. To calculate this, add up your parent’s assets, which includes their personal property (like investments, real estate, etc.) excluding their primary home and vehicles. And tally up their income over the past year (including Social Security, pensions, interest income from investments, annuities, etc.), minus any out-of-pocket medical expenses, prescription drugs, insurance premiums and longterm care costs over that same period of time. The VA also has a three-year lookback to determine if your parents transferred any assets to ensure they would qualify for benefi ts. If so, they may be subject to a penalty period of up to 5 years. How to Apply To apply for Aid and Attendance, you’ll need to fill out VA Form 21-2680 and mail it to the Pension Management Center (PMC) for your dad’s state. You’ll need to have your dad’s doctor fi ll out the examination information section. Or you can also apply in person at a VA regional offi ce near your parents. For more information or to download application forms see VA.gov/pension/aid-attendance-housebound. You can also call the VA at 800–827– 1000 if you have questions. If you need some help, you can appoint a Veteran Service Officer (VSO), a VA-accredited attorney or claims agent to represent your dad. See VA.gov/ ogc/apps/accreditation/index. asp to locate someone. If your dad is eligible, it can take months for his application to be processed, so be patient. You should also know that if your dad’s Aid and Attendance application is approved, the VA will send a lump sum retroactive payment covering the time from the day you fi led the application until the day it was approved. Then your dad receives monthly payments going forward. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. ior

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