Finally Approved, but.....

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by esklader, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. esklader

    esklader Newbie

    First of all, this site has been a godsend in attempting to get my mother-in law a&a benefits so thank you! We sent in the initial placeholder form back in May 2014 using the verbage found here while we collected the documentation necessary . After many, many frustrating back and forth communications over the past year, and finally getting her local congressman involved out of desperation since she had no money left, we were just notified she was approved!

    Her monthly benefits are starting, but her retroactive benefits for the year are being withheld until a fiduciary is assigned due to a rating of medical incompetency. I have a few questions... First, I saw the verbiage suggested in the FAQ for form 21-438 stating that we accept the incompetency designation and want to have a specific person assigned as fiduciary, in this case her son, who also has POA (although I know that doesn't mean anything here). Does it matter who signs that form? Would it be her, or her son, or me as I am the one who has the authority to call the VA and discuss her affairs?

    Also, she is in a desperate financial hole. Does the second part of the suggested verbiage trying to get the funds expedited by indicating hardship apply to the retroactive portion if they are already agreeing to pay monthly from here on out? And finally, once the retroactive funds are received, are we allowed to reimburse ourselves for money we put out on her behalf for medical needs when she ran out and was not yet approved (ie, asst living rent, prescriptions, etc.) between the time we submitted the initial application and the date it was approved? Thank you so much for your help!
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    So glad to know the site and forums were helpful to you in this process, and Congratulations on getting the award.

    Yes, you can inform the VA you have no objection to their incompetency finding and not wait the 60 days. The applicant is the one who signs this, and indicates who they want appointed as their Fiduciary.
  3. esklader

    esklader Newbie

    Okay, thanks. I just wanted to clarify because what I found on the site seems to indicate someone other than the applicant is filling out the form, so thought maybe that person could sign it (we are in 2 different states which makes things difficult).

    Please be advised that (parent's name) and I have no issue with the VA finding of incompetence and wish to proceed with the appointment of a fiduciary. We wish to appoint myself (her/his insert your relationship to the veteran) as fiduciary. I understand that I must be interviewed prior to that appointment and would appreciate such an interview be scheduled as soon as possible.

    Also, would the second part noted below be applicable to a situation asking for the retroactive funds? Sorry to be dense. Again, just trying to clarify so we don't have a lot of back and forth with the VA.

    I respectfully question the withholding of my (parent's name) benefits, pending the appointment of a fiduciary. Referencing a VA policy: Pursuant to VA Manual M21-1, Section 17.15: Procedure Upon Receipt of Evidence of Incompetency, your manual states "Do not routinely suspend direct payments to a beneficiary pending development of an issue of incompetency or certification of a fiduciary." The manual further states: "If entitlement to benefits has been established but no payment has been made or if increased benefits are payable, make a determination as to whether or not benefits should be paid directly pending certification. The determination should consider if delaying the payment of the benefits would cause undue hardship for the beneficiary. If the evidence of record shows that delaying payment would create a hardship, properly annotate the award, referencing the evidence reviewed and the justification for paying benefits directly to the beneficiary." I think if you reference (parent's name) claim, you will see that withholding his/her payment does constitute a hardship for him/her. I would like to request that he/she receive payments during the fiduciary appointment process.

  4. Sperry8

    Sperry8 Newbie

    My father was approved similarly to your parent - and we also received the letter for incompetency. I sent that back immediately agreeing to it (My father has Alzheimer's and cannot manage his own finances). In the interim all benefits are being directly deposited into the acct provided on the initial application. It has been ~5 mos since we sent the letter back re appointing a fiduciary and have yet to hear back. Yet the initial Fully Developed claim was approved in 1 month. Seems like this part is harder than the other (since it requires in-person visits to my Father and me).

    Hopefully you have the direct deposit all set up so you can at least get the ongoing monthly benefit while waiting what may be a long time to set up the Fiduciary account.
  5. CMstreet

    CMstreet Newbie

    I just sent my Mom's application in yesterday; she has an ALZ diagnosis. Am I correct in assuming that they will begin the monthly benefit PRIOR to naming someone as a fiduciary? Or does that have to take place before they will begin paying the monthly payment?
  6. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    If approved, yes, they will start the monthly award, but for the months that the application is being processed, those funds will be held until Fiduciary is appointed.

    Hope things go smoothly for you.

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