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

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

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  1. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    We don't recommend people use the ebenefits site because it has been known to have problems. I do not have experience myself adding someone to the DEER. I would suggest calling the VA to make sure you can get a proper update. That is what I would do. And if it takes talking to multiple people to get a good answer, then I would do that.
     
  2. Rainesmaker

    Rainesmaker Newbie

    Thanks, called the VA to get an update of the claim on behalf of my mother, surviving spouse. They could not disclose any information to me as the son since there is not an Authorization to Disclose Personal Information to a Third Party of file (form VBA-21-0845). I understand that can take 30 days to process. Maybe my mom's claim will be approved before then, if she lives long enough. Maybe I'll try calling again to see if I can get an update and say I have the form on file. Thanks again for your responsive reply Kaylin.
     
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  3. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Ah, yes that is important to have if you want to ask for any updates on behalf of the applicant - the Third Party disclosure form. Which you could always fill out and send in if you want to get any updates soon.
     
  4. Hi! Why would the VA close my file in December and still have not sent a determination letter? I called and they do not know whether I was approved or rejected.
     
  5. Jandy

    Jandy Jr. Member

    I'm confused--when you called the VA and they said they didn't know if you were approved or rejected, they also said the file had been closed? How did they explain that? I think another call is in order to ask for more specifics and why action was or was not taken.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
     
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  6. On ebenifits under my disabilities tab it says
    Anxiety disorder to include psychotic disorder Rating 70% but under decision it says pension. I am not getting paid for this. I originally filed for ptsd. Can you please explain the decision PENSION
     
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  7. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Anthony I answered your question in the personal message you sent me.
     
  8. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Caregiversunite, I agree with Jandy. I would call again and get a better answer. That doesn't make any sense.
     
  9. Thank you Jandy and Kaylin. I called the 800 number three times yesterday! They were all incompetent there and laughing and goofing off in the background. I guess I should have called the Philly office? The first two reps insisted they had no record of my statement of claim for Aid and Attendance even though I had received a letter back in November saying they received it and were working on it and would let me know if they needed anything else. One claimed he couldn't find my 21-0845 form and then told me to call the NY office because he didn't have the Philly number which I now see is on the VA website.

    Finally, the third person, a supervisor, DID find the statement of claim but said that the file was closed in December. He was very unhelpful and insisted he had no other information but would request a determination letter. I was so confused and frustrated, practically in tears because it's been a year and my Uncle is now indigent in assisted living at $12.000 per month and on hospice and we are desperate.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
  10. Jandy

    Jandy Jr. Member

    Oh Caregiversunite, I'm so sorry to hear this. And it just boils my blood--you are entitled to answers. I wonder if it's time to get your uncle's Senator involved. Perhaps that would get things moving.

    Please keep us posted and hang in there.
     
    Kaylin likes this.
  11. Rainesmaker

    Rainesmaker Newbie

    Hi, In mid-March, I submitted all the required forms to help my mom get surviving spouse benefits. I also appended the application to accelerate a decision based on 'hardship' (age: 91, financial fixed income). The application is still in the "development phase." The VA is still waiting to receive "Service Treatment Records" (STRs) from the National Archives (on behal of my father). Even though we flashed the file for hardship to accelerate, I feel this application is in limbo. The STR request has been made, but the VA rep says there has been no response. My question: is it worth trying to expedite the STR request directly to the National Archives... or is the "request on file" about as good as I can do to remedy? Thanks, and thanks for this forum.
     
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  12. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Good question. I have never come across someone in this particular situation with a hold up due to the National Archives. Since you already asked for expedition due to age and financial hardship combined technically you should be able to contact the Senator from the state where your mother lives and ask for a Congressional Inquiry into the status of her application. I would mention in the letter you write to the Senator that your mother is currently waiting in this limbo situation.
     
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  13. Rainesmaker

    Rainesmaker Newbie

    Thanks, worth a try!
     
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  14. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    You're welcome! Let me know how it goes! I'm interested since this is a new situation I've come across.
     
  15. Matt375

    Matt375 Jr. Member

    Honestly, this has come up more and more in recent claims that I've filed. The VA is only looking to verify the service through an original/certified DD-214. The VA is no longer taking straight copies without them being certified either through the National Archives, a VSO or County Recorder's office. If you have an original copy of the DD-214 a service officer (VSO) can verify it, make a copy and stamp it as an original. That should speed things up as they most likely have everything else done just haven't been able to verify the veterans service.
     
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  16. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Good to know. I will add this to my notes if anyone has questions about this in the future. Thank you!
     
  17. NobleSavage

    NobleSavage Newbie

    I have been on VA pension now for nearly 3 years. I want to supplement my pension income with a short-term job. I am 10% disabled (per VA), but I am able to work. I don't want to lose my pension, but I need a cash infusion to supplement my income. Can I work a job for a few months and: A.) Not report it? or B.) Not have my benefits reduced or revoked? What happens if I don't report my "change in net worth"?

    In short, can I work a job and still receive my VA pension?

    If there is a maximum amount I can earn before my pension is affected, what is that amount?

    Info is scant, abstract, or subjective online -- please help! Thanks in advance.
     
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  18. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    I do not recommend going around the VA like this and not reporting that extra income. Obviously people probably do this or similar things to not report extra income, but I can't recommend that you do that. As far as the maximum amount, the best way to think about it is like this:
    Monthly total income - Monthly care expenses = X
    Whatever that X amount is is probably what the VA is basing your A&A monthly benefit amount on. If it's negative, obviously they need to award you A&A in order to make up for that shortfall. But if it becomes positive or the gap starts to close then they could adjust your A&A monthly benefit amount to be less.
     
  19. NobleSavage

    NobleSavage Newbie

    Thank you for the insight Kaylin. I don't want to make a mistake now that I'll regret later. :)
     
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  20. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    You're most welcome!
     

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