Change in Applicants Expenses

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jrhdgs, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. jrhdgs

    jrhdgs Newbie

    Thank you for this wonderful website and this forum. I am trying to assist my Mother in applying for the surviving spouse benefit.I have been studying this benefit and the application process for only a couple of days so I still have lots of questions. My first two questions are, given the length of time required to get the application approved what should I do if Mom's expenses drastically change (She moves to an AFL or NH)? Then, once approved do we reapply for a higher level of benefit whenever her situation changes?

    Thanks in advance for your reponses.
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    You're welcome and in the event things change during the process, depending on the timeframe, you will simply do a Statement in Support of Claim showing the additional medical expenses due to the change in care, services, etc. For right now, focus on completing the app and gathering all the documents. Read the success stories posted here and learn valuable tips from those who have already been through this process.

    Good Luck!
  3. Max

    Max Hero Member

    Something to keep in mind that within days of the award being approved, VA will contact the assisted living facility or nursing home and verify all expenses over the phone. This will cover the largest changes in medical expenses. After the award has been completed, the best way to adjust for the increased expenses is to submit a completed 21-8416 at the end of the year (submit with EVR if you are required to submit an EVR (people who have any other income aside from SSA are required to submit new income reports every year)).

    Any questions? Post a response.
  4. romalynn

    romalynn Newbie

    Please help and do please know I am not really dumb. LOL I am helping an elderly friend almost 91 years old with this process. He is already in an assited lving home and they are waiving the extra monies over what he can pay now till his claim is approved. We know he meets the requirments as I have received the discharge papers from the archives now. This is my question and seems there are very few people even with the service orgs who have done one of these claims.

    Ed receives a social security check each month and that is it as far as assets , go he did have a mobile home owed 45 K on it, was valued on the taxes at 77K, but since the granddaughter was not paying the mortgage and lot rental correctly, mortgager has now moved to evict her as I informed them he will no longer be able to pay, and not to accept any chekcs written on his old bank account. So he gets 1,000.00 in SSA money, not SSI, wihch if I read correctly his SSA counts then as income???

    so then does this mean, the A&A pension would pay the amount above his monthly money which would be 644.00 dollars? I know that you can claim medical expenses from the income, and the assisted living is charging for some levels of care over the rent money of 1645 per month. I do not understand it this way please help me if you can

    What I am unsure of is this? They do not count the rent money itself as a medical expense do they??? No one can seem to clarify this. The lady at the assisted living thinks he will receive the full 1644
  5. romalynn

    romalynn Newbie

    Oh forgot to say this I have Durable power of attorney, but his grandkids think he is gonna have a bunch of extra monies, and I need to know this if possible so I can get them to understand, he is only paid from the date of the claim wihch is May 29 of 2010 and not back to his 65th year, and that he wil not get the whole 1644 and then pay that and a bit more and wind up with spending money of like 800 dollars. See my problem. Thanks a heap fro your help and the answer about how to submit additional expenses as we know his need in his ADLS are going to increase not decrease soon.
  6. Max

    Max Hero Member

    Durable POA doesn't mean anything for VA purposes. Rent can be considered a medical expense at an assisted living facility if the veteran is rated for aid and attendance. If his only income is SSA, I would be willing to bet good money that he would qualify at $1,644.00/mo on the basis that his assisted living expenses outweigh his income.
  7. romalynn

    romalynn Newbie

    You have been such a blessing to find here on this forum. Thanks so much for your advice. I will keep all of you informed as we go through the rest of the process and again to Debbie thanks so much for the answer to my email as well.
  8. FJB

    FJB Newbie

    I'm a new forum member, and I'm very grateful to have found this great resource!

    My questions are also about a (likely) change in expenses, but with a "twist": My 94-year-old Dad has been living in an assisted living facility since March 2007, and has been receiving the VA A&A Pension since then. I think he has always received the VA's monthly maximum amount because his monthly expenses from Day 1 at the ALF have been way more than his monthly income.

    Dad's physical health has been declining since January. Two weeks ago, Dad's doctor put him in the hospital for a week, and then discharged him to the rehab unit of a nearby (long-term) nursing home. Medicare is covering (most or all of) the rehab costs for his first 20 days. It's not clear yet whether his Medicare-covered rehab period will be extended (up to the max possible 100 days, which would be approximately September 28th), but it is clear to all of us that barring a miracle, Dad now requires more and possibly 24-hour skilled nursing care.

    Here are some questions we have. (I'll probably have more after some Angel here hopefully answers these questions.)

    1A. We're not sure if Dad has on file with the VA their Form 21-0845-ARE (VBA Authorization to Disclose Personal Beneficiary Information), so we want to submit that form ASAP. That form's Question #3 asks for the Beneficiary/Claimant's (i.e., my Dad's) address. Should we get Dad to complete and have us mail this form today or tomorrow, while his address is still where he has been living at the ALF?

    1B. This form's Question #6 asks for the Daytime Phone Number, Cell Phone Number, and E-Mail Address of the Beneficiary/Claimant. My dad does not have a phone in his rehab unit room, nor does he have a cell phone or an email address. What should we use as answers to these questions?

    2. Dad cannot afford the cost of living long-term in a nursing home, and I and my 3 siblings are not in a position financially to help him afford that either. My sister is a Registered Nurse. She and her husband (a Pharmacist) have agreed that when Dad's rehab period ends, they want Dad to live with them. (We all know Dad will agree because we have discussed this several times with him since Janauary.) In the meantime, my sister is planning on moving Dad's "stuff" out of his ALF room tomorrow (June 30th), so that he does not have to pay beyond what he has already paid for (i.e., through June 30th). Are we correct in assuming that Dad's official change of address date will be July 1, and that his new address will be my sister's address even though he is still in the rehab unit?

    2. While Dad is in the rehab unit, we expect that the VA will continue to direct-deposit his A&A Pension into his checking account. How soon must Dad update the VA about his change of address and change in expenses (i.e., that he's no longer living at the ALF)? And what form(s) should he use?

    3. When my Dad moves to my sister's home, she may take a leave of absence from her nursing job or scale back from full-time to part-time, so she can care for Dad. We all agree that Dad's monthly income should be used to pay my sister and her husband for his "room and board" and her health care services. How will these living+medical care arrrangements affect the way the VA calculate's Dad's A&A Pension amount? And what form(s) will the VA require (and when) from my Dad, my Dad's doctor, and/or my sister, as documentation for Dad to continue receiving his monthly VA A&A pension?

    4. When Dad originally applied for the A&A Pension, his doctor completed the VA Form 21-2680 (Examination for Housebound Status or Permanent Need for Regular Aid and Attendance). Will this change in Dad's address and living+medical expenses require Dad's current doctor (the one who's assigned to him while he's in the rehab unit) to complete this form for us to submit to the VA?

    Thanks VERY MUCH to any and all forum members who can help us understand and correctly proceed into this next "chapter" of Dad's VA pension.
  9. Max

    Max Hero Member

    The change in status means replacing one expense with another. I would suggest submitting a 21-2680 in case a rating was never done along with the following information:

    Date he left the assisted living facility
    Date he began receiving new in-home care
    New rate for in-home care (per month)
    Who covers the care?
    Are they licensed?
    What do they do for him?

    Also provide cancelled checks to prove payment and have him and the caregiver sign the submission. Get that info in ASAP because by doing so, you're putting your claim in line to be reviewed in a couple months. Waiting until you have every detail covered will just delay the issue further. Also submit an 0845 and have all relevant phone numbers included with the submission.
  10. AngelaManz

    AngelaManz Jr. Member

    You should consider speaking with an elder law attorney in your area - preferably one who handles VA and Medicaid. Although the VA may allow your sister to be paid for her care, doing so without proper documentation in place could disqualify your dad from being eligible for Medicaid in the future. Although you may not be thinking of using Medicaid as a payment source right now, it would be a good idea to ensure that his eligibility is not disrupted or lost. It doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. It's really just a matter of documenting things the proper way.

    Angela Manz
  11. Max

    Max Hero Member

    I know if you live around Virginia, a great law firm is

    For VA purposes, you can also contact veterans service organizations who provide free help and advice in filling out applications and representing you throughout the application process. They can also help submit information in the future if any situation changes. If you live near a regional office, it is also a good resource to actually just go into the office and talk to VA right then and there. Whenever I see a case from Minneapolis or St. Paul, I just tell the applicant to come into the office so that we can hash it out in person. That helps me get the case done in a day instead of having to send things through the mail and wait for months.

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