A&A Benefit Approved - Our Story

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by mpwilkinson, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. mpwilkinson

    mpwilkinson Newbie


    Thanks so much to Debbie and everyone who has provided information on this site. It has been invaluable in helping my husband and I to secure A&A benefits for his mother.

    His mother is 88, has has lived in Assisted Living for the past year. Her husband was a WWII vet, and passed away in 1975. While she is lucky to receive social security and her husband's pension as a police officer, her income did not cover her medication, and living expenses once she moved to AL. She has Alzheimers, and cannot care for herself.

    We submitted our application in late February, and was notified that the VA received the package on March 2nd. On July 16th we were notified that she was approved for benefits in the full amount of $1056 per month, with a payment start date of April 1st. Within 2 weeks of notification we had a check for the accrued benefits and each month have received the check on time.

    I did not use the three ring binder approach, but I agree that it would be best. We received 1 inquiry during the process regarding her income and savings. It was very easy to complete form 21-4138 to explain how her savings would be depleted before the year was out, and that her income did not cover all her expenses. We sent that back to the VA in early May, so it still took a few weeks.

    We did complete Form 21-22a indicating my husband (her son) as her representative. They finally acknowledged that when they sent the approval package, as it was sent to him at our home address and to her at her AL address. So, during the process we watched her mailbox to intercept any VA letters, as she wouldn't understand any of it.

    When we filed for the benefit we did include a voided check so we could have direct deposit, but that has never happened. They still send a check regularly to her AL address, so we just watch her mailbox every week to make sure we don't have anything coming in from the VA. The VA can be challenging to deal with, so I am afraid if we ask to change to direct deposit it will create an issue! Actually, I will next work on changing from check to DD, as it is likely easier on them and us.

    Throughout the process we did get regular communications from the VA indicating they were still working on the case, and were just backed up. We had received one of these "we are still working on your application" letters, then a few days later received the approval, so you just never know when it will come. At some point during the process they moved us from being processed in Texas to the center in Minnesota.

    I did send in original copies of documents like her husband's discharge papers, his death cert, and their marriage license; and the VA sent those back to us after the application was approved. I was actually surprised by that.

    So, it took some time, but I would say the process overall was painless. I would be happy to answer any questions that anyone has!

    Thanks again for all the help,
    Patti Wilkinson
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    Congratulations for surviving the process and most importantly the award for your MIL. I know having these funds will ensure that you will be albe to afford her care.

    I'm glad that you found the site and forums helpful, and greatly appreciated you coming back to share with everyone your experience as well as the offer to help someone else.

    Let's hope that your good news will soon be someone else's story to share.


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