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. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    If your mother passes away you will submit a Statement in Support of Claim form 21-4138 updating the VA on the current situation with any other bank statements that show the increase in money available to you. The VA will wait until you spend down below the $80,000 limit before allowing the A&A benefit you were on to continue. Just make sure to update them of any situations. You wouldn't need to reapply with all forms - just update them using the 21-4138 and they should reinstate it.
     
  2. david7147

    david7147 Newbie

    Thank you.
     
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  3. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    What is the best way to inform the VA of a change in bank account information after receiving an award? My wife is going to open another account for her mother for the VA funds and close the old one. How should I inform the VA of this change? The award letter said to inform them immediately if the account they have is no longer open, but I 'm not sure how to inform them. A letter? or a phone call? Thank you.
     
  4. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    I'd start with a phone call - it may be the quickest way to do so. If you can't seem to get to the right person (which is quite possible when calling the VA) then your best bet is to send a Statement in Support of Claim form 21-4138 along with any records of the change. However you can show the VA of her change in accounts - like bank statements - may help.
     
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  5. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    Thanks again Kaylin!
     
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  6. casagrayson

    casagrayson Newbie

    I have a question about award amounts. My parents, both vets, were approved for benefits in July, retroactive to December 31 of last year. The actual award reads "entitlement to special monthly pension based on need for Aid and Attendance". After the VA rep came out to interview me as a fiduciary, he wrote me an email and told me that he was concerned that my parents were not getting the full benefit they were entitled to have. He has put in a new claim for us.

    Now, I am really confused. I thought that they were already getting the maximum, since their medical expenses exceed their income. They each receive $1418/mo, which is what is on the chart for two veterans married to each other. Is that not correct? Is there something I am missing?
     
  7. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    That seems like the right amount to me, casagrayson. If both of your parents were veterans and they are each receiving $1418 per month. Maybe he was thinking that each veteran would receive the "normal" veteran A&A amount of a little over $1700 each? But that is not how it works with two veterans married.
     
  8. casagrayson

    casagrayson Newbie

    upload_2017-3-1_16-37-0.png
    So this is the chart. The amount they are getting is under the Basic Pension MAPR. What is the far right column?
     
  9. Jandy

    Jandy Jr. Member

    casagrayson, if your vet parents were approved for a full A&A award, it's my understanding that they should receive the amount in the far right column: $2846/mo. This is the total amount per month for both of them (they would not get $2846 each).

    You say they are receiving $2836/mo ($1418 ea). I know it's only a $10 total difference each month, but I'm confused as to how why your parents aren't receiving this extra $10.

    Check the award letter again for clarification. If that doesn't answer your question, I'd follow up with the VA. You may want to do this in any event, just to "check my work" here. Your parents should receive every dollar they are entitled to.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
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  10. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Excellent advice. What Jandy said.
     
  11. Jandy

    Jandy Jr. Member

    casagrayson,

    This just occurred to me re the $10 discrepancy I questioned in my post (#609) above--Double check what your vet parents are currently receiving. The Veterans Pension Rate recently saw a slight (.3%) increase due to cost of living adjustments. I believe this was effective 12/1/2016 (first reflected in the 12/30/2016 check). Perhaps this slight increase accounts for the discrepancy I questioned; that is, perhaps the $2836 total ($1418 ea)/mo you say your vet parents receive was the amount BEFORE the cola increase kicked in.

    To illustrate, my single veteran father receives a full A&A benefit. Starting with the direct deposit he received on 12/30/2016, his monthly benefit increased $6: from $1788/mo to $1794/mo.

    It does give me pause that your VA fiduciary rep raised the issue that your parents are not receiving a full award. I will say that the fiduciary rep I dealt with for my father's application was up to speed on on fiduciary issues, but seemed a little hazy on the application process and award amounts (in fact, a couple things he said re the latter issues were just flat wrong). So although I don't think(?) I'm missing anything here, I think it bears following up with a call to the VA to make sure.

    If you find anything out, come back and let us know so we can all learn from you!
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
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  12. Rainesmaker

    Rainesmaker Newbie

    Valuable information service you are providing here, thank you. We faxed (St. Paul pension processing) a first time claim on March 11, 2017 on behalf of my 90 year old mother who is a surving spouse. We applied for both DIC, Death Pension, Accrued Beneifts (Form 21P-534EX) and Aid and Attendance (Form 21-2680). Her only income is Social Security ($1232/month) with monthly household expenses putting her into a monthly negative of $100-300/month. Based on monthly income/expenses assessment, does the VA combine a portion of Death Pension with Aid and Attendance to arrive at a monthly claim award? Finally, how long does it (typically) take to get a final decision based on the claim faxed on March 11th? Curious if this claim would be expedited given my mom's age at 90, and also the monthly financial hardship. Wouuld you recommend also filing Statement in Support of Claim (form 21-4138) to help expedite? If so, how would we get our current claim processing number to append with the Statement in Support of Claim? I assume the VA will contact my sister by phone or mail as she has been appointed "Claimant's Representative" (Form 21-22a). Thank you.
     
  13. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Death pension is the same thing as Aid and Attendance. So you are saying you filed for DIC and Aid and Attendance (death pension)? Yes, the claim should be expedited due to your mother's advanced age of 90 or older, but you have to request it is expedited. Use form 21-4138 to request expedition for age and/or financial hardship.
     
  14. Rainesmaker

    Rainesmaker Newbie

    Thank you Kaylin. Yes, we had the hospital medical staff complete the Aid and Attendance form and we completed the separate DIC, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits form. We will request expedition using form 21-4138. How is this new form added/matched to the current claim request pending? I don't have a claim number, assume then they would match the subsequent expedition request form with my mother's SS# and name linked to the intial claim? I suppose we can track the claim process at www.ebenefits.va.gov using my mother's SS# and name. Thanks again.
     
  15. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Got it. Thanks for clarifying. Yes, they should match up her application with her SSN and name. Especially since you had no previous VA file number. You can use the ebenefits site, but we always recommend folks don't use it for filing any actual paperwork because it has been known to have errors. And if you edit anything at all on the application itself or submit a new form it moves your application back to the bottom of the pile. You're welcome! Best of luck to you!
     
  16. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    Is this question answered elsewhere? - There is something that the VA requires yearly from the veteran or spouse receiving the A&A benefit; I can't remember what it is. A filing of some type. sorry I could not remember where the answer is.
     
  17. Jandy

    Jandy Jr. Member

    Hi toxdoc49,
    Are you talking about the Eligibility Verification Report (EVR)? If so, it was my understanding that this is no longer necessary....?
     
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  18. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    That is correct - at this time the EVR is not required.
     
  19. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    Maybe; I am not certain. I just remember reading something about the VA wanting information every year. I understand you need to inform them of any change in assets but thought that they wanted something each year. Maybe it was just financial status changes. Or maybe it was the EVR. I have not seen one of those. But thank you for your response!
     
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