Why will VA not approve A&A for my 96 year old Father?

Discussion in 'Eligibility Questions' started by mdsul, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. mdsul

    mdsul Newbie

    We applied for A&A about two years ago for my then 94 year old Dad and have been getting the run around since then. My stepmom has been caring for him at home but she is now 85 and is not in good health. From everything I have researched, HE should qualify. I'm not completely sure of my stepmom's assets but she is the one who actually applied and said they told her he was TOO OLD. They have enough income (SS) to make ends meet but for about a year now we (the children) have been paying 3 part time in home caregivers out of our pocket at the cost of about $600 per week. Can you help me figure this out? Is he really TOO OLD to get benefits?
     
  2. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    A veteran cannot be too old to qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit. So they were wrong there. Did you follow the instructions on our How to Apply page? You might want to read over this page to make sure the application was done correctly. And what exactly are they requesting you provide in order to show his qualification? You need to call the VA (unfortunately) and keep calling until you get a straight answer on why he was denied.
     
  3. VA Legal Team

    VA Legal Team Full Member

    Can you post the first and second page of the denial letter? Then I should be able to tell you what the VA said and why.
     
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  4. Matt375

    Matt375 Newbie

    Like Kaylin stated a veteran is never "too old" for benefits. However, the VA does use life expectancy, assets & income when looking at awarding benefits. If they appear sufficient for the veteran to make it on his own then they will most likely not award any benefits. I would be willing to work with you and see what the VA is saying and help you refile if you want.
     
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  5. mdsul

    mdsul Newbie

     
  6. mdsul

    mdsul Newbie

    I have just received the paperwork on my Dad’s case and have reviewed it. The initial claim was filed on Oct 9, 2015. Their denial letter dated January 12, 2016, said they determined that my parent’s Net Worth was “sufficient” to meet their living expenses at that time and they noted “life expectancy”. She was told to “spend down”. Their net worth at that time was about $67K.

    My parents only income is from Social Security which amounts to about $2461 per month. After I prepared an Income/Expense statement for them, it appears that they are able to pay most monthly medical expenses (Medicare Premiums, Supplemental Insurance Premiums, Prescription Co-Pays, etc) and other general living expenses – but do NOT have enough to pay for in-home caregivers nor for an Assisted Living or Nursing Home.

    As a result, for the past year and one half, we (the children) have been paying three part time in-home caregivers at about $2500 per month.

    My stepmom is about 12 years younger than my dad, so I guess my question now is, “how much must she “spend down” to in net worth before they can qualify? Does she have to have $0 in net worth to live out the rest of her life?
     
  7. Matt375

    Matt375 Newbie

    That's the issue then (which happens a lot of the time) you get stuck in the Catch-22 of the Pension. Since your parents are not paying for the caregiver they cannot count it as an expense even though they need it, and w/o the pension they cannot pay for it. To answer your question it is unknown how much the VA wants her to "spend down" their directions are as clear as mud most of the time.
     
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  8. mdsul

    mdsul Newbie

    Thanks for your response. If it were not for my Stepmom assets, my Dad would easily qualify for A&A. He has nothing but his Social Security. So I guess my next question is, "if they got a legal separation could he qualify?"
     
  9. Matt375

    Matt375 Newbie

    I don't know if I would go that route because then you have to remember that the medical expenses are then gone as well. Have you looked into getting him into VA healthcare and applying for extended care services? That way the VA would pay for the in-home caregiver and although it may not cover all that he needs it could reduce your cost burden.
     
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  10. mdsul

    mdsul Newbie

    What is the difference between VA Extended Care Services and Aid & Attendance? Our situation has deteriorated and my Dad has had to move into my sister's home. We now need a 4th (overnight) attendant. Whom should we contact for legal assistance with his case. We need help NOW -- not two years from now.
     
  11. mdsul

    mdsul Newbie

    We have since learned that my Stepmom DID refile with VA in about October of 2016 after she says she "spent down". I have not seen the paperwork yet but the local VA office says that the home office "never received the refile". Trying to get a copy of the paperwork.
     
  12. Matt375

    Matt375 Newbie

    VA Extended Care Services are provided through the local VA hospital (sometimes through a third party that VA pays for). To apply he would need to enroll in VA Healthcare by filling out a 10-10EZ and once enrolled fill out a 10-10EC to apply for the extended care services. This is completely separate from the Pension program (run by VBA) as it is run by the VHA.
     

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