I process claims for pension benefits at the VA. Ask me anything.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Max, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    If it is less than 1 year since the original application was submitted, you can do 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim, and a Statement of Occupancy from the facility.

    If more than a year, you will need to do a new application package.
  2. casagrayson

    casagrayson Newbie

    It has been less than a year. I guess my question is this -- should I actually submit the 21-526 form lined through with the new asset numbers listed and noted as "amended" -- or should I just type that information on the 21-4138 form?
  3. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    No, do not do a new application.

    Use the 21-4138 to put forth all the new information.

    Good Luck with it!
  4. k2

    k2 Newbie

    Thanks, VetAdmin! The VA responded with a reimbursement for 2014, but said it was past deadline to file an MER for 2012 and 2013.

    Deadlines are valuable tools, but not when they aren't advertised. I've yet to see any correspondence to him that specified a deadline and don't see it on the VA's website. Perhaps I'm missing something? I did see a bill that was considering establishing a deadline, but was told that it wouldn't apply to veterans receiving A&A ("given their severe difficulties").

    I don't want to get his hopes up only to have them dashed, but it would make an enormous difference in his quality of his life.

    Do you have any ideas on how to get a definitive answer on this one?
  5. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member


    As vetadmin mentioned, if they have not give you a deadline there probably is not one for submitting the MER and Statement in Support of Claim form 21-4138 to update the VA on your dad's medical expenses. I hope that helps!
  6. k2

    k2 Newbie

    Thanks for trying to help, but the only way to absolutely, positively know whether a deadline had been given is if I had full and unfettered access to each piece of mail he received. I'm sure many other people are in the same boat where they do not live nearby and have not received copies of all mail from either the VA or the vet.

    So... my question for VetAdmin stands. Would you kindly point me to the policy on deadlines for MERs or where to search for it?
  7. llwright

    llwright Newbie

    Instead of a social security award letter can I use my mother's 1099 for 2015? Her January 2016 bank statement reflects the payment is still the same. She's 91 and cannot find her award letter and I'm having a difficult time getting a copy.
  8. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    We are going to refer you to the VA for the exact clarification on what deadlines may or may not have been given. Their main number is 800 827-1000.

    Our sincere hope is that you will be able to get the clarification you are in need of.
  9. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member


    I think the 1099 should be alright. It will show your mother's income from the social security on it, correct? You could also clarify why you are including the 1099 in placement of the social security statement on the Statement in Support of Claim form 21-4138. Since your mother is over the age of 90, I hope you also request the application be expedited due to her age. You can write that on the cover letter and/or the Statement in Support of Claim form.
  10. llwright

    llwright Newbie

    Yes it does show her income and medicare deductions for the year. I did tell them she is 91 and please expedite the claim. Thank you.
  11. k2

    k2 Newbie

    Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, I've been there and done that, hence the posts here.
  12. HelpinDad

    HelpinDad Newbie


    With the April payment of my fathers bills he has depleted his assets. (less than 2000 left) We had hoped for a quick sale of his single wide trailer home (asking 65K) but the market is soft.

    We filed for A&A in January 2016. At that time I expressed on my cover letter that my 82 year old father was going to run out of money by summer and asked for expedited processing. I have spoken to the Philly office and they have been very nice and professional. I know they have the application because he asked me the secret question in order to speak to me. He said that they would contact us if any more info was needed and an estimated time for answer on approval was July 24.

    Is there anything more I can do? Should I send another form 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim re explaining this with up to date bank statements?

    Thanks in advance
  13. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member


    If your father is going to run out of money (as it seems by your explanation of his remaining assets), you can use Statement in Support of Claim form to request the form be expedited due to "financial hardship". Explain on the form how he is going to run out of money soon and, yes, you should include the up to date bank statements.
  14. rjo

    rjo Newbie

    My father received the Aid and Assistance benefit in Nov. 2015 and qualifies for the prior 12 months. I sent in the application indicating that his medical condition, housing situation (assisted living) and financials were the same for the previous 12 months as for the present. I thought that the initial application (which was approved) would be referred to when considering the 12 month prior benefit. So, basically I screwed up and did not attach his assisted living expenses again because they were included in the first application. Needless to say his request for 12 month prior benefit was denied due to his financials. His countable income is $0.00 after adding in the cost of assisted living and he very much qualifies for the benefit. So basically I did not send the supporting information and therefore was denied the benefit. What is the best way to appeal? Can I just reapply and send the proper documentation this time ? Or, do I have to go through the appeals process ? Any assistance helping me out would be so appreciated.
  15. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member


    We highly recommend to never appeal as it can drag out for years and rarely results in the answer you want. Instead, you can use Statement in Support of Claim form 21-4138 and add any supporting documents you have to update the VA on the situation, asking them to reconsider the denial because you did not provide the right information the first time.
  16. CLouiseJane

    CLouiseJane Newbie

    Sister and I just went through heck getting the accounting all together, mailed it tonight and low and behold my original signed by bank 21-4718 was still in the scanner! I'd made a copy for us, but accidently sent it with the accounting. What should we do? Sis is going crazy worrying!
    thanks so much. :-[
  17. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    Apology for the slow response. Have been out of town with no internet access.

    You can mail it separate, but I would put a note with it explaining the packet just mailed did not include it, and ask that it please be attached to her application.

    Trust me, if the VA needs or wants a form you will know about it.

    Try to relax.
  18. JAMTOB1

    JAMTOB1 Newbie

    I just received a DENIAL for our claim for Aid & Attendance for my husband. They say our income is over the "$25,448" limit. I thought A&A was $80,000? Also, they did not count one of the medical items submitted, as it "was incurred before your date of application". All the others items were also before that date. How would you submit a medical item that has not occurred yet?? Then it states that we should complete the enclosed Medical Expense Report showing medical expenses for the period January 1, 2001, to January 1, 2001. REALLY confusing. Should we go through the appeal process, or what should we do at this point?
  19. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    You never file an appeal as that process will buy you a minimum of 2 1/2 years for a hearing on the matter.

    You can complete the MER and using VA form 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim to provide additional information and clarification. Non-reoccurring expenses factor in, but do not hold the same weight that ongoing care expenses do.

    The 80K is not set in stone and if impacted by age, assets, and care expenses. If the amount that is being paid for care for your husband does not come close to depleting your combined monthly incomes, it will be difficult to show a "financial need" for this pension to pay for his care.
  20. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    I'm asking a question about Sections VIII, IX, and X of the 21-534EZ. I know what the income is for my mother in law (only SS and govt. pension from her deceased husband). She has no other assets of any kind. I'm not sure what the VA is looking for in section IX; my interpretation is that I report the income from her two sources over 12 months?
    I also don't know what to put down in section X. She does have medical expenses. They only get the Medicare part that you don't have to sign up for (they never signed up for the other one, I get confused about that). All her income is currently spent on my wife caring for her at home. We do know that she needs assisted living and are looking into facilities. thank you and sorry for the long question

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