Can I appeal the benefit start date?

Discussion in 'How to Apply Questions' started by mannavision, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. mannavision

    mannavision Newbie

    Hi, my Mom finally received benefits after a couple of years of appeals. She was at $0.00 countable income for a whole year before they finally approved her A & A Benefit. In 2014, she was denied benefits because her liquid assets were about $63,000 but her countable was $0.00. They reasoned that she had enough assets to cover her needs. She has Parkinson's and is in Assisted Living. We appealed again in 2105 and she was approved. In that year, her assets went down to about $35,000. Parkinson's is a very expensive disease and she has longevity in her family.

    I would like to appeal the start date and ask the VA if they would re-consider her benefit start date to start when when applied in 2014. I have only about a week to do this before the year's appeal option is up.

    My concern is if I ask for them to re- consider her start date, is there any chance they could reverse their decision and take away her benefit? Has anyone had experience with appealing a benefit start date? Is there risk? Is there even the remotest chance that they would back date the benefits? Thank you!
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016
  2. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    This is an interesting question. I'm sorry they denied your mother the first time around - that was awful of them, especially since she has Parkinson's.

    I have never talked to someone directly or here on the forums who have successfully appealed the start date to the benefit and gained more retroactive pay, but that's not to say it can't be done. If it were me and I had the chance to at least try to get the appeal so she can get the money she deserves, I think I would. And it shouldn't affect her current benefit, as she's already been rewarded from a new start date.
  3. mannavision

    mannavision Newbie

    Thank you for your reply. The VA seems not to have any hard and fast rules of when the liquid assets are acceptable. In 2014, we got a denial decision NOT only stating that she had sufficient money to meet her needs, but also the nasty addition that the benefit was" not intended to to protect substantial assets or to build up a beneficiary's estate for the benefit of their heirs"! I felt like it was a slap in the face. $63,000 and owning her home were her only assets with a disease like Parkinson's. The home should not be considered in the assets. I am glad we finally got the approval, but so much money was drained. I may still give it a try. I have the letter written. I understand from the decision letter of 2015, that I can send it in on plain paper. I am also sending a brief summary of her assets/income/medical expenses for both 2014 and 2015 when we appealed. I will let you know what happens. Thank you again. Elizabeth
    Kaylin likes this.
  4. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    You're correct, her home would not have been counted as an asset (or at least it shouldn't have been). I can understand your frustration and I'm sure you're not the only one who has struggled with this kind of situation. Please keep us updated if you choose to submit your claim to try to gain more of her retroactive money.

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