I process claims for pension benefits at the VA. Ask me anything.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Max, Aug 12, 2013.

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  1. mred2008

    mred2008 Newbie

    The physical rehab facility my mother was released from recommended the A&A and I did include everything on the list made available to me upon my mother entering assisted living and took it to the County VA office .( I wish I had thought to look for a forum such as this earlier) The clerk there sent it on it's way in early February (also in PHILA region) and after the acknowledgement letter I received bimonthly delay apology form letters and sat back, waiting for time to pass. Then, in June, I got a letter stating they needed income verification, even n though I knew that was included, and sent it off dutifully, inspired by the wording regarding marking the form to be expedited. I receive an acknowledgement letter for that, making it sound like I had started the process in June instead of February. I wait and hope for expedited processing as funds dwindle, and get a letter in early August stating a death certificate and discharge record is needed (also, definitely in the Feb package) I try and call to vent, and after a half hour hold, am informed they cannot look into it because the don't have the military branch (How do you even make a file without any of this?) so, that is where I stand right now, having sent those records to the Philly office in Wisconsin? What should I be expecting or what are other options to achieve resolution?
     
  2. CherylA

    CherylA Newbie

    I started a thread about this before I saw this post.

    My dad is 85 yo & is moving to an assisted living facility. He can do most ADL's on his own but has problems remembering to eat and take meds and has short term memory loss as well as periods of dementia. I do most of his care with the help of a CNA a few hours a week to whom we have been paying in cash. He has an income of a little over $3100 a month from pension and SS and has about $16,000 cash. He has a car which we are selling for $8,000. His assisted living will be about $2900 a month plus $1,000 for level of care plus the cost for meds and health insurance. He will get some money for his house, maybe as much as $50,000. Should I wait until the money from the sale of the house is almost gone before we apply for the A&A? Not sure what do to. Tysm for your help.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
  3. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    It sounds like once the house sells it may put him over that $80,000 asset level since he has a good chunk of income coming in each month as well. But what you can do is submit an Intent to File to get the application started if you are applying within one year of submitting the Intent to File. It gets the processed started for you.
     
  4. CherylA

    CherylA Newbie

    Ty for your reply. I have just about decided to wait and see what happens with the house before I file for A&A for him. It won't take long for any money he gets from the house to dwindle down due to the cost of his assisted living. I wish I could take care of him but I'm in my 60's with health issues and just can't do it. Do you think we will be ok if we wait until some of his money is used up before we apply for the A&A? Tysm for your help!!
     
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  5. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Personally, I would go ahead and do the Intent to File to at least get the process started. That way, no matter what may come up with the selling of the house and any surprise expenses that may start coming up - you'll have that date locked in for his accrued benefits.
     
  6. Baystreet

    Baystreet Newbie

    I'm getting all of the paperwork ready to file. My father had two wives (one died in 1971) and we are applying for A&A for him and his current wife. We have his original DD-214, both marriage certificates and his first wife's death certificate. I called the VA and they said I don't have to send in certified copies of these documents - just making photocopies is enough. That doesn't seem to match what I'm reading on this forum. Am I missing something?
     
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  7. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Baystreet, we have always been told - even from our sources at the VA - that they need to be certified copies. Just as if you were applying for a passport you would need a certified copy of your birth certificate. It seems natural that anything related to government funds would require a certified copy. I would send a certified to be sure.
     
  8. Baystreet

    Baystreet Newbie

    Thank you for your help! I have one more question. I am applying for benefits for both my father (the veteran) and his wife. Do I just file one 21-527EZ but a separate medical form for each? Should I include a cover letter saying I am applying for benefits for the two of them?
     
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  9. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Baystreet, I answered this question on your other forum post but yes I would also include a Cover Letter stating you are applying for both.
     
  10. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    This is a rather long thread; I hope my question gets looked at. My MIL is moving into an ALF under what I understand to be a subsidy program through the county/state (state of MD). They said that the subsidy, in combination with her current limited income, all goes toward the ALF cost, with about $100 per month allowed for personal expenses.
    I had already applied for the A&A benefit months ago before finding out about this subsidy program, still waiting on outcome from the VA. They did write a few times saying they were still working on the application. My concern is, I hope my MIL can still receive the A&A benefit from the VA to help with ALF cost and not have it in conflict with the subsidy program. I still need to get more details on that subsidy program, but a little apprehensive mentioning it at this point to the ALF, I do not want to mess up her eligibility to be in the ALF; she does need the level of care they provide.
     
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  11. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    I do not think the subsidy program will affect her A&A eligibility. The only sort of programs that can affect the A&A benefit - to my knowledge- are Medicaid and a compensation benefit. But I do not know how the A&A benefit may affect your MIL's subsidy program. That is something that you may want to ask them.
     
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  12. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    Thanks Kaylin; I do plan to ask them. I can also see where the cost will go up, as her level of care increases. I think I will still file the statement in support of claim to show she is now living in the ALF, and get the certificate of occupancy to send as well. I think you answered this somewhere else, but I am guessing that the VA will need to see a breakdown of the current expenses. If they think that under the subsidy program in combination with her current income is not depleting her assets, I wonder if they would deny the benefit until her care level increased and/or the subsidy was replaced by the A&A. I will have to see what the facility knows about this. I can foresee an increase in cost but I cannot currently prove it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016
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  13. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Your assumption is a good one. When it comes down to it, always provide the VA with as much information about expenses vs. income and assets as possible. If you find out what the subsidy program folks tell you - please let us know. I will keep it in my arsenal for future questions we may have.
     
  14. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    I will let you know what I find out about the subsidy program. I know that it is through the county we live in, but I need to know more about how it works.
     
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  15. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    So, if you submitted all the paperwork for the A&A benefit through the mail, is it possible to check on the status through ebenefits? That is what a recent letter to me from the VA suggested. Just wondering you get any information through the ebenefits site regarding status. Thanks
     
  16. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    I think you can! It's at least worth a shot. I believe I have heard of others using this method to check on their status even though they submitted by mail. Please do let us know if you are successful in checking on the eBenefits site.
     
  17. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    Thanks Kaylin, I will! I'd like to add that we received a phone call from the VA Philadelphia office after I had submitted the additional information they requested, and the case worker was very helpful. She was getting information to clarify things for my MIL since she had recently moved to an ALF, and we are hopeful of some kind of award, not sure of the timeline. I feel that it would be in the near future whatever their decision is.
     
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  18. kathip22

    kathip22 Newbie

    My 90 year old mother lives in an independent living facility but is in need of some help with her ADL'S. We do not want to use her Long Term Care Insurance until her health becomes worse tHan it is now. She has no assets and her income barely covers her rent. I have been told that she would not qualify for Aid and Attendance because of her LTCI even if she is not using it. Is that true? We are getting desperate for help. Thank you.
     
  19. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Kathip - I answered this question on your other thread.
     

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