Help for 57 year old Down Syndrome child of WWII Vet

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by 98bonga, May 2, 2017.

  1. 98bonga

    98bonga Newbie

    Not sure if I am posting to the right area, but I will try again. Dad passed in August, WWII vet. My sister and I are trying to find out if it is possible to get the Aid & Attendance benefit for our 57 year old Down Syndrome sister. She is currently going back & forth between our homes, but I live out of state. We found a very nice independent living apartment and they suggested applying for Veteran aid & attendance benefits since she has been a disabled child before the age of 18. She only gets Social Security from my dad's account, about $1300, no assets and goes to a sheltered workshop each day. The independent living apartment will be $2,000 plus a month once we add some utilities. Has anyone had experience applying for disabled child?
    I've called a couple attorneys who are willing to meet and fill out the paperwork, but none of them have had experience actually filing for the surviving child. I had an appointment with the local VA office, but after reading so many comments on here regarding perfect paperwork being submitted if we do on our own wrong, I cancelled the appointment and started researching attorneys. Any guidance would be appreciated.
     
  2. Matt375

    Matt375 Jr. Member

    While uncommon my best advice would be to file the claim and see what the VA says. You would want some proof of helpless prior to 18. My only concern is that since she would be moving into an independent living apartment the VA may not count that cost unless they are providing medical care for her. To file it is essentially the same way you would for a spouse but instead the claimant is the veteran's helpless child. Please let me know if you have any other questions as you undertake this.
     
    Kaylin likes this.
  3. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Thank you for your help, @Matt375 . I wasn't quite sure how to approach this situation myself as it's a new one to me.

    I would appreciate it if you could keep us updated on this, @98bonga
     
  4. 98bonga

    98bonga Newbie

    Thanks for the response. I do have an appointment with an attorney May 30. She seemed to understand and said she had filed two other claims like ours. So we will see. Yes, it is filed like a surviving spouse I am told. And yes, because it is independent living, she will need to ask for the additional help that we can get for additional charge. She must have at least 2 things she needs assistance with. i.e. dressing, bathing, walking, medications etc. I will keep you all posted as I hear. Please feel free to add comments if anyone else has experience with this.
     
  5. Matt375

    Matt375 Jr. Member

    Just as a caveat to your response, the greatest cost of the facility must be care for the individual otherwise the VA will not count it. I can attach a percentage of care statement if you would like it.
     
    Kaylin likes this.
  6. 98bonga

    98bonga Newbie

    Yes, that would be much appreciated. I meet with the lawyer Tues. Whenever you can attach.
     
  7. 98bonga

    98bonga Newbie

    Oh, yes please. That would be very much appreciated. I am afraid to do anything wrong with the paperwork, lawyer or not. I meet lawyer Tuesday, so please attach anything you think helpful. Thanks again.
     
  8. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    @Matt375 do you have the percentage of care statement to attach for @98bonga ?
     
  9. Matt375

    Matt375 Jr. Member

    I apologize for a late post. I was out of town. I can only attach a PDF version of the form that I built
     

    Attached Files:

    Kaylin likes this.
  10. 98bonga

    98bonga Newbie

    Sorry for the delay. My sister's application was turned in after we met with a local attorney. They did not charge us. It was less than 8 weeks to get a response from VA. They awarded my sister $183/month pension - not aid and attendance. It took 2 months for the $$ to start hitting her bank account. I called VA last week to confirm a few questions I still had. Mainly this money was not dependent on receiving services for showers, daily help etc. It was costing us $180 for 4 shower assists a month and if the award was only for $183, it didn't make much sense. Again, I was told that my sister was "A surviving, disabled dependent of the veteran" and that she was awarded a "pension" that would last her lifetime. It was not necessary to prove she was getting any aid or services.
    Hope this may help someone in the future.
     
    Kaylin likes this.

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