Countable income/eligibility- Change in caregiver expense

Discussion in 'Countable Income' started by rts, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. rts

    rts Newbie

    Question about the maximum yearly income to still qualify for Aid & Attendance pension. My mom was approved for A&A at $1,153/month. She had been paying a caregiver and so her income was $0, however she was then approved for In-Home Support Services (IHSS) thru the county and no longer has to pay a caregiver. Does this mean she will no longer be eligible for the VA A&A benefit? Her annual income is $15,144.00 (not counting the A&A benefit) and her health insurance is $1,893.72 per year; which I think would leave $13,250.28 as countable income. Correct? Not sure if they deduct dental ins ($257.76 per year). Thank you for any help!
     
  2. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Hello,
    The main thing you have to think about is if she is paying for ongoing senior care or medical expenses herself. It sounds like all of her senior care expenses will be paid by the IHSS so therefore she would no longer be able to receive the monthly A&A benefit unless the status were to change to where she did start paying for some of her ongoing care or medical expenses again. You will have to update the VA on the IHSS payments for sure.
     
  3. rts

    rts Newbie

    Thank you Kaylin!
     
  4. CVSO-PJB

    CVSO-PJB Newbie

    Attached is a good screening tool we use in our office to see if a person is eligible for Pension. If they qualify for $1 in pension then they may also be eligible for A&A, but they have to meet the medical need. Sounds like you Mom meets the medical need part so using gross income and subtracting things like MediCare and supplemental health insurance costs along with any expenses needed for the care of her body (protective undergarments, iron pills if she's anemic, bandages, cough medicine,...). Keep in mind the VA can look back a year or forward (like just moved into assisted living or paying for in-home care).

    Curious, when you first applied did you list the veterans final expenses? If not the funeral may still be an eligible deduction. To find out call (877) 294-6380 but remember your Mom will have to be there to give them permission to talk to you if you are not her Fiduciary.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. rts

    rts Newbie

    Thank you for your response. I didn't know about deducting those other expenses you noted. Thank you for the attachment. No, we didn't list my father's funeral expenses ... does it apply if he didn't die due to service related injury? And yes I'm her fiduciary so they'll be able to talk to me.
     
    Kaylin likes this.
  6. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    @CVSO-PJB , thank you! In your above statement: "Curious, when you first applied did you list the veterans final expenses? If not the funeral may still be an eligible deduction. To find out call (877) 294-6380 but remember your Mom will have to be there to give them permission to talk to you if you are not her Fiduciary."

    What does that number go to specifically? What is the name of the office or department? I want to make sure I have this in my own notes. :)
     
  7. CVSO-PJB

    CVSO-PJB Newbie

    The toll free number above is the Pension Management Center call line.

    When a surviving spouse is filing for the first time the funeral expenses, minus the $245 from Social security and any other federal funeral allowance, can be listed as an expense. The caution is that if any life insurance is received it may then disqualify claimant for 12 months. But any time a surviving spouse is qualified for the Aid & Attendance and is self-pay at an assisted living or nursing home they usually have a medical out go bigger than their income so they qualify for max pension with A&A unless it was a very large Life Insurance. After 12 months if there are funds left from the life insurance they are looked at as assets, no longer counting as income, but may put the claimant over the liquid asset limit. This is why an accredited CVSO or VSO is so important.
     
  8. CVSO-PJB

    CVSO-PJB Newbie


    Any spouse/veterans funeral expenses is applicable for a qualified pension applicant to use as a deduction. See the response below about life insurance though.

    When I mentioned Fiduciary it has to be one already approved by the VA. So if you were pointed your Mom (as POA) or a local court, it will not count for the VA until they have cleared you. Hate to say it but to many bad apples have ripped off veterans/spouses so VA has a whole separate duty to protect them.
     
  9. rts

    rts Newbie

    My father died in 2011 and had a small life insurance. My mom applied just this year for pension/A&A. Is it too late to submit that expense? We have a Veteran Services Rep thru the county where we live, however they didn't tell us about funeral expenses. Thank you so much for that information.
     
  10. rts

    rts Newbie

    Thank you. Yes, I've been approved as a VA fiduciary through the VA process.
     
    Kaylin likes this.

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