I would appreciate any advice please.

Discussion in 'Tips and Resources' started by trebleclef, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. trebleclef

    trebleclef Newbie

    Hello, and thanks for the great informative site,

    I'm nearing the point of applying for A&A for my mom for improved pension. She is 74, and has dementia from a stroke in 2003 (wish I'd known about A&A then). Here is our situation:

    My mom is being taken care of full time (largely for free) by my sister, who has minimal sources of personal income. My mom has about $12,000 left in a savings and a few CDs, so she's financially down to the wire. She currently receives $640\mo for SS, and about $960\mo surviving spouse pension from the VA. Her meds are about $100\mo out of pocket, and she has a medigap policy premium of $201\mo. That's about it for her income and medical expenses, except we're leaving out the cost of what an organization like Visiting Angels would cost if my sister found outside employment.

    Our goal with A&A is to get funding to help pay my sister for caregiving, and I just read that the VA requires a contract to be in place, along with a traceable history of regular payment.

    My questions:

    1. Should I hire a lawyer to draw up the contract, or can it be a simple documented agreement?

    2. With only $12k left, how much should my mother agree to pay my sister?

    Minimum wage in TX is $7.25 so it seems at least that is fair. 8 hours a day for 7 days a week would be about $1760\mo, which will chew thru my mom's savings in less than 7 months...scary. If she gets approved for the housebound award, which I assume would be an extra $950\mo at most, I can place the retroactive lump sum back in my mom's savings for household emergencies (she'll need a new AC soon etc). Then, she could at least pay my sister the monthly housebound benefit afterward.

    Please let me know if you can offer any guidance or past experiences.

    Thanks in advance,

    Lee
     
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Lee,

    You can draw up a very simple contract stating the type of care and the amount to be paid.

    Expenses are considered from the date of application, so just going forward, make sure you have checks showing her being paid for the care provided.

    Your mom if approved will get a check for the months that she waits while going through this process, which will go back into her account.

    If the VA feels her savings and CD's are too high and there is not enough medical expenses, she will not get approved.

    You need to do a search on this forum for countable income and go through that formula to determine where your mom actually stands for VA purposes.
     

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