Aid & Attendance Granted - But Never Received the increase

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by pbar, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. pbar

    pbar Newbie

    I have been banging my head against the wall for 2 years. Here's what happened.

    Dad was a WW2 veteran. I applied for Death Pension and for the Aid and Attendance for my mother . A YEAR later I recieved a letter saying that both were approved, and she would receive a check soon. 2 months later a check arrived, but they had the maximum annual rate for 2007 being $7,329 and never made an adjustment for the aid and attendance. We received this in July '08

    Every time I call VA, I get someone new and they promise to look into it, or have someone call me, etc. Hospice called them (Mom was about gone by this time) and they at least got a fax from them, but that was just to tell them to have Mom write them to request a reconsideration for correction of payment date for aid and attendance. It is now September. She died a few days after that. (How can you reconsider a correction??) Anyway..

    In November, VA sent a letter wanting her signature on a certification that what she wrote was accurate!! (Everything in her letter was just a recap of all the correspondence from VA)
    So I, as executrix of her estate wrote this person back, sending all the necessary certifications as executrix, along with all the legal forms as executirx, etc... Haven't heard a thing from them since.

    I called again today, and it is the same old stuff. New person, can't get a phone number for this person who wrote to me. I don't even know if he got it (I didn't send it registered). He probably shredded it. She took my number and told me she would have someone call me. Of course no one did.

    The way I see it her maximum annual pension rate should have been 11,985 (in 2007) with aid and attendance (no dependents)... The payment they sent to her had an annual rate of 7,329. They didn't make an entry for the aid and attendance... They kept on with the annual rate of $7,329, until the cost of living increase in Dec 07, then it was $7,498.

    They don't send a separate check for aid and attendance do they?? It is still pension right? Just improved? I don't know.. I guess I'll go to the regional office and see if I can talk to someone LIVE. I went to the local VA represenative and he didn't have a clue what I was talking about. He never heard of aid and attendance!

    Any suggestions?? I'm at my wits end.

    Thanks in advance,
    Pam
     
  2. mmiller

    mmiller Newbie

    It has been 3 years for me. They don't care !! After my father was granted his pension I waited over a year and just when I was informed I should be getting a check my father passed away. Soo then they tell me it it no longer valid because your father died, and accured benefits would not be paid!! I am still waiting, every time I call the 1 800 # I get a person from out of state, when the paperwork is in another state. I have sent soo many certified documents I think the guy in the mail room must just sign for it and it gets put in the ebyss file. I am so discusted with how this was handled, I wonder what the federal goverment would say if our veterans acted this way when it is time to defend this country.
     
  3. Patty

    Patty Newbie

    Hi Pam,
    This is what I suggest - review the original award letter, was she granted full A&A or a partial amount? If the full amount then type up how much you think she should have received each month versus what she received, showing the total shortpay. The on a Statement in Support of Claim, list out that you believe there was an error in calculating her award and you have attached (1) a spreadsheet showing the amounts paid versus the amount of pension with A&A that she was entitled to and (2) a copy of the original award for their convenience.

    Have you filled out the Accrued Benefits form yet? If No, MAKE SURE you include the shortfall amount from the month she should have received it or they will go with the amount you put on that form. If you have already submitted it, you need to submit a corrected one with the amount owed since the first month of award.

    I want to hear how you make out!
    Patty
     
  4. Patty

    Patty Newbie

    Mmiller,
    I am sorry to hear that your father has passed away. It can be tough to get closure with this hanging over your head. When did your father pass away? It is important to never rely on a discussion with the 800 number staff as you have nothing in writing if you need to involve a lawyer. Have you filed for accrued benefits?

    Patty
     
  5. mmiller

    mmiller Newbie

    Hi Patty,
    my Father passed away on March 12,2008,2 weeks before my birthday. I called the VA yesterday and of course spoke to a person out of state, he informed me that the computer shows they are in process of making a decision, when I asked him when that info was dated, he said in July of 2008. Yes I have filed accrued Benefits sent certified but I am sure the guy in the mail room signed for it and then tossed in a basket.
     
  6. pbar

    pbar Newbie

    Hi Patty,
    I appreciate your reply to my post. Mom was granted full A&A I suppose - since their letter didn't mention anything about being a partial amount. I did figure out the difference that she should have received (not a small task I might add) Is there a special form called Support of Claim? I just sent a letter. ?? I didn't put a spreadsheet with it, but I did give them a small piece of my mind.

    Since it took them over a year to approve this, they only sent one check for the entire year - and noted that her income was too high to receive anything further. It was for the period from February 07 to February 08. -

    VA had made a decision that she was entitled to aid and attendance allowance effective July 31 of 2007 (which would start in August) - However, they didn't make that adjustment on their breakdown of her lump sum payment. The only adjustments they made on their monthly breakdown were an income adjustment in March 07 and a cost of living increase in December 07. The Maximum Annual Rate never changed to reflect the entitlement to aid and attendance. - It stayed the same as the basic death pension amount.

    As for the Accrued Benefits form - their initial letter said that they couldn't approve our claim for accrued benefits. (That was at the same time of the approval of everything else) - I'm not really sure what this is. I'm assuming it was for benefits that my father may have been due - but he wasn't receiving anything from VA. Am I right in thinking this is what accrued benefits are? I'm so tired, I can't even think straight anymore.. <grin>

    I started to send in some expenses she had, but I thought I would wait until this was cleared up before messing with it. At this point, I don't want to fool with those anymore - It isn't very much
    I just figured it would mess them up more and delay things even longer..

    I live in Kentucky. Should I take a trip to Louisville (regional office) and talk to someone in person?? What do you think..

    Pam






     
  7. Patty

    Patty Newbie

    Hi Patty,
    Is there a special form called Support of Claim?
    Yes there is a form called Statement in Support of Claim. It is the form you shoudl use every time you communicate with them and you want them to consider a "Statement' in "Support of" your "Claim".

    I just sent a letter. ?? I didn't put a spreadsheet with it, but I did give them a small piece of my mind.
    Don't ever give them a piece of your mind, you need that for yourself. You need to give them the answer, in black and white, without emotion and very very clearly and politely. The person reading your letter doesn't know you and hasn't done anything to you - you want them to resolve your issue, not put you in the "later pile".

    Since it took them over a year to approve this, they only sent one check for the entire year - and noted that her income was too high to receive anything further. It was for the period from February 07 to February 08. -

    VA had made a decision that she was entitled to aid and attendance allowance effective July 31 of 2007 (which would start in August) - However, they didn't make that adjustment on their breakdown of her lump sum payment. The only adjustments they made on their monthly breakdown were an income adjustment in March 07 and a cost of living increase in December 07. The Maximum Annual Rate never changed to reflect the entitlement to aid and attendance. - It stayed the same as the basic death pension amount.

    I still say a clear spreadsheet is the way to go, maybe someone else has a different approach

    As for the Accrued Benefits form - their initial letter said that they couldn't approve our claim for accrued benefits. (That was at the same time of the approval of everything else) - I'm not really sure what this is. I'm assuming it was for benefits that my father may have been due - but he wasn't receiving anything from VA. Am I right in thinking this is what accrued benefits are? I'm so tired, I can't even think straight anymore.. <grin>
    If in the initial award letter, that is standard, it is their way of saying your father did not pass away from a war injury so she isn't entitled to accrued Death benefits for compensation. If subsequent to your mother's death, you must have filled inthe Accrued Beenfits form incorrectly
    I started to send in some expenses she had, but I thought I would wait until this was cleared up before messing with it. At this point, I don't want to fool with those anymore - It isn't very much
    I just figured it would mess them up more and delay things even longer..

    I live in Kentucky. Should I take a trip to Louisville (regional office) and talk to someone in person?? What do you think..
    I think its more impoprtant for you to figure out the shortfalls and include that amount in two separate mailings - one the support of claim showing the error and the second being having it listed in the last illness section of the accrued benefits form
    Not easy, I know, but it will keep you occupied!

    Have a great Christmas,
    Patty
     
  8. pbar

    pbar Newbie


    Patty,
    Success at long last. I had to eventually use the INTERNET E-mail system to get a response! But after all this time, I finally got a little something out of them. Thanks for your information and support.
    Pam
     
  9. Fit2009

    Fit2009 Sr. Member

    Great! By a little something you mean the back pay? If less than that, you should make sure you file by September.
     

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