Just begining - Overwhelmed

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by Warrior Women, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Warrior Women

    Warrior Women Newbie

    My mom has lived withme for 8 years. She is 98% blind and I am her prime (only) caregiver. She needs help bathing, cannot cook, cannot dial the telephoen to return a call, cannot change the tv station. While we have become creative and found some work-arounds for many situations so she can maintain some independence, she really depends on me for many,many needs. She isnot comfotable with bringing in oustide help since she cannot see who they are, what they do or where they go in our home. Therefore, I am her source of care.
    Dad was in the Air Force in the early 1950's. I was born at the Air Force Base hosipital in 1952. DAd died at 44 in 1973.
    Until recently, I had not known about VA Aid and Assistance and want to make sure mom gets all the benefits she is entitled to but am feeling a bit over whelmed at where to begin. HEre are my specific questions, but I also appreciate any suggestions on taking it one step ( form at a time)

    1. Is she entitled to home care assistance even though I am her primary care giver and not a licensed agency or social worker?
    2) Do I begin with form 21-534?
    3) Is there a retroactive period for which mom is entitled since dad has been deceased for 40 years? How far does the retro benefit go back?
    4) Is there any specific wording that I should be aware of when describing myself as her care taker so that the benefit is more likely to be approved.
    5) In addition to caregiver assistance, are there other benefits she may be entitled to, other than social secutiry which she is already receiving?

    Thank you for your help in navigating how to get this going.
    Much appreciation,
    Warrior Woman
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    1. Is Mom paying you to act as her caregiver? If not she needs to in order to show a financial need for the pension to offset care expenses. You do not need to be a social worker or a professional caregiver.

    2. Yes start with the 21-534 unless you are going to need quite a bit of time to pull all the documents together and complete the application. You can submit an "Informal Claim" on a 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim to start the effective date.

    3. The only retro-date she is entitled to is the date of her application. She can't go back and claim benefits that she never filed for.

    4.Just simply state what your arrangement as her caregiver, and the amount being paid to you.

    5 You would need to contact the VA and explore any other benefits she may be entitled to aside from the A&A pension.

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