Please clear up eligiblity questions...

Discussion in 'Eligibility Questions' started by edmamamomi, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. edmamamomi

    edmamamomi Newbie

    Dear VeteranAid,

    Thank you for the valuable information & website. Returning home over the holidays, I stumbled upon your website when I was looking up information online to get Mom's military ID renewed.

    My parents are both 80 y/o and married. Both are in poor health. Dad suffered a fall off a ladder 12 years ago and has become an invalid for the last 5 yrs. Mom battles sarcoma cancer since 2009 with 5 surgeries. More are expected. My father retired from USAF and is a Vietnam War Veteran. Their income consists of his military pension & social security. They are on medicare and TriCare for life. Five years ago, my brother gave up his life to return home to care for both of them full-time. My parents do not formally pay him a monthly "caregiving" check, instead paying his personal bills. My parents & brother live in Central Florida and I live 4 hours away in Miami.

    My questions are:
    1) I know Dad is eligible for the A&A pension, but can dad file A&A pension on mom, too, since she is in poor health? Can a veteran "double dip"?

    2) Is Mom only eligible for A&A pension after my father passes? Or, can she receive benefits while he is alive?

    3) From what date to what date do I put on the medical expense form? Do I list previous 12 months of expenses? Or, do I list only the medical expenses incurred going forward from the date of intent to file claim?

    4) Can my parents use "paying for my brother's personal bills" as their care giving expenses or do they need to formally document their need for care from him?

    Thank you kindly for your help.
    Best regards,
     
  2. Honor First

    Honor First Newbie

    You can apply for them as a veteran and his spouse. This increses the amount of the pension. If your father is approved for the Aid & Attendance pension, your mother will have to notify the VA of his passing, they will continue the benefit at the reduced rate for a survivor.

    If your brother has Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) over their finances, he can designate their VA check be direct deposited into the account. Your brother can spend the money any way your parents want him to.

    If your brother applies with the VA to be their fiduciary, it will slow down the process.
     
    Kaylin likes this.
  3. edmamamomi

    edmamamomi Newbie

    Dear Honor First,

    Thank you for the prompt reply. I still am unsure about:

    3) From what date to what date do I put on the medical expense form? Do I list previous 12 months of expenses? Or, do I list only the medical expenses incurred going forward from the date of intent to file claim?

    4) Can my parents use "paying for my brother's personal bills" as their care giving expenses or do they need to formally document their need for care from him?

    Please be so kind and advise.

    Best regards,
     
  4. VA Legal Team

    VA Legal Team Full Member

    I'm going to answer your question and clear up a couple pieces of inaccurate misinformation.

    1) Unless your mother is a wartime veteran herself, the maximum monthly benefit for a married veteran is $2127.00 per month. This is the max rate even if mom doesn't require care. It isn't double dipping to receive this rate even if only dad's medical expenses exceeds their combined gross income.

    2) The first part of your question can't be answered without knowing more details, particularly what kind of care mom is receiving and how much it costs. Once dad dies, your mom would need to re-apply for survivor's pension.

    3) I don't advise completing the medical expense report when submitting an original application. Using the Section X on the 527 EZ is sufficient. Only list the medical expenses moving forward. If dad is awarded pension, he can then try to prove his eligibility for the prior year.

    4) They should definitely start paying him for the care he is providing. This should be done via check and should be for a set amount.

    Lastly, there is no way to avoid the fiduciary process if the VA decides your dad is not fit to handle his financial affairs. This decision is based on the contents of VA Form 21-2680. You cannot get around the fiduciary process by having a POA deposit the check into his or her account.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
    Kaylin likes this.
  5. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Thank you for your help!
     
  6. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Thank you for your help!
     
  7. edmamamomi

    edmamamomi Newbie

    Hi All,

    Not sure what to do now? Submitted all the forms to VA for A&A for my Ret. USAF/Vietnam War Veteran father & mother. Both are 80 y/o. My father is an invalid & mom battles cancer. Forms were submitted on 1/5/17. Claim was denied 3/29/17.

    The denial states:
    The evidence show your income effective February 1, 2017, exceeds the maximum annual limit set by law for disability pension at the aid and attendance rate.
    The income limit at the aid and attendance rate for a veteran with 1 dependent is $25,525.00.


    The VA considered my fathers retirement from the USAF + his SS + mom's SS = $63,101 yr.

    We are baffled. Both parents are permanently disabled & obviously are not employed. We were under the impression that $80,000 was limit for A&A benefits. How can it be $25,525? Any retirement pension would "knock" a veteran out and make him ineligible. VA states we can reapply once income drops or medical expenses increase.

    Please advise the next steps.

    Thank you for listening...Kind regards,
     
  8. Matt375

    Matt375 Jr. Member

    The $80,000 limit is only in regards to the assets a veteran has. The income level is $25,525.00 for both veteran and spouse requiring A&A. The medical expenses must reduce income below the VA's threshold (in your case below $25,525.00) in order to qualify for any pension benefits.
     
  9. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Also, to put it in simple math terms to help everyone better understand:

    Monthly income - monthly care expenses (assisted living, etc.) = deficit.

    That's how the VA will look at whether or not a veteran and/or spouse needs the A&A benefit.
     
  10. VA Legal Team

    VA Legal Team Full Member

    There is no $80,000 asset limit. You can be denied for net worth if you have less than $80,000 and awarded benefits if you have more than $80,000. The $80,000 number is a VA threshold that only determines if the agency must run a report when someone with more than $80,000 is awarded benefits (this report is always run when someone is denied for net worth, regardless of the assets they have).
     
  11. Matt375

    Matt375 Jr. Member

    True, it is just a general guideline but unless you can demonstrate a need with assets in excess of that, you will most likely not receive the benefit.
     
    Kaylin likes this.
  12. VA Legal Team

    VA Legal Team Full Member

    I agree. But telling someone they have no need to worry about assets if they have $79,000 is not good advice (not saying you did this).
     
    Kaylin likes this.
  13. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    You're both right in a way. The $80,000 is a general rule of thumb that's nice to keep in mind but it isn't a hard rule. Good to know about running a report if the applicant has over $80,000 in assets!
     

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