Just getting started!

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by Chrisinhouston, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. My wife and I just found about this benefit and are just getting started in gathering everything to apply. Her dad died in 2007 and was a WWII army vet, we knew about the SS death benefit and received that. Mom finally got to where she could not live alone in their home in Fort Mohave, AZ where they had retiremed so we eventually moved her here to Texas just a half mile from our home. We considered just finding her an apartment near by but she is just not able to care for herself and we were able to get her into a nice independent living facility where they check on her and she gets transportation and social activities. She squeezes by each month with her social security and a small pension that dad had from his years at Xerox. But she always comes up short so my brother in law who is financially able to makes up the difference of about $1800 per month. It took forever to sell her home and there wasn't much left after the loans and debts were paid off. And each year the facility where she lives raises the rent. My wife and I often end up paying for things by the end of the month when her funds are depleted.

    We were able to go through mom's files and found dad's war records. Unfortunately his copies of his discharge papers are long gone. He had tried to get copies of them in 2002 for some reason and got a reply that they were most likely burned in the fire at the National Archives in 1973. But they sent him a signed and dated certificate of military service with dates of entry and discharge with a raised seal that should be admissible. Then we hit a road block. Mom seems to have misfiled or lost her marriage certificate from 1947! One never realizes how important papers like this are until you need them! I was able to go online at the county website in Bristol, TN where they were married and find it in their online archives and place an order and now we are waiting for a certified copy. Thankfully we are not required to submit a birth certificate because she doesn't seem to have one as she was born in a rural hospital and the state says it was never filed! We found that out when we unsuccessfully tried to get her a Texas state ID for a handicap card for parking when we take her places. Politicians never envision these scenarios when they pass new laws! At some point I need to try to get her a delayed birth certificate filed and approved with Tennessee!

    We have dad's death certificate and will get her doctor and the home where she lives to fill out the forms that are requested. The rest won't be too hard to complete, no property and a bank account that is exhausted every month. The only other challenge is filling out the form for the VA benefit! Looks like a team of lawyers wrote it! Thankfully I found a guide created by others for filling out the form.

    It's frustrating that this benefit is not better known. We have been covering the shortfall for 3 years now.
     
  2. I was able to go online at the Sullivan County, TN government website and actually pull up the page in the registry book for the date in 1947 when they got married. I called their office and a very helpful person found the old book and cross referenced the marriage certificate and processed the certified copy. We should get it in a few days and then start filing the other papers.

    My wife is going to do a spreadsheet this weekend showing how much mom goes into debt each month.
     
  3. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    You said that she is in and Independent property. That is going to be an issue for you. What is the name of the property she is at?
     
  4. Thanks for your reply and question, I have been trying to figure out if she is eligible or not. She is in a property called The Terrace at Kingwood which seems to have gone through several ownership changes originally with Sunrise and now is part of Brookdale Senior Living. It was their website that had information on applying for this benefit and after doing research I found your website! Brookdale says that the qualifier is living in a "protected environment."

    The facility offers several levels of care from the more independent apartment living down to full blown Alzheimer's care but while they refer to her wing as independent, a resident can pay extra for more help and services within that part of the facility if needed. Currently, she is dependent on either my wife or me to refill and dose out her daily medications (we do it once a week). She also can only get around on an electric wheelchair within her room or the facility, needs meals prepared or help in preparing them and her doctor wrote up orders for a bath nurse to help her bathe and dress as she can not do it on her own. The facility also provides cleaning and weekly room care like cleaning bathrooms, floors and changing the bedding as she can not do that kind of stuff. She has no car and can't drive anyway now but the facility offers transportation to doctors appts on their bus or we take her in our car. The facility also provides one of those emergency call buttons which she wears in case she falls and each day if she fails to call in by noon they come to check on her. And if we take her out she must sign out and sign back in.

    It's the "independent" term that has confused me. Our area has some senior living apartments that are truly independent in that no services are offered which I know she would not qualify for help there.

    Will any of this help or hurt us?
     
  5. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    It is true that the Dr's evaluation needs to clearly show the need for assistance and a protected enviornment.

    Due to a year long investigation by the Senate Committee on Aging that involved Independent and Retirement properties using this pension to fill buildings, that Committee has purposed a 3-year look back to address the "Pension Poachers". This has also meant that the VA is looking more closely to applicaitons coming in from facilities that do not truly meet the guidelines of assistance.

    My concern is that due to the above they may not allow her rent to be a medical expense and will only count the services contracted out for care.

    You can certainly try to see if her property would be approved given they do offer additional levels of care, but at least be mindful there may be a sticky point associated with the above.
     
  6. Meme aid

    Meme aid Newbie

    Hello, just beginning and here is my problem. Applied to national archives for a DD214 discharge papers for passed away WW11 Veteran Stepfather in order to begin application process for my blind 88 year old Mother. We sent in Stepfathers death certificate with request and have received a letter saying records burned and we have 30 days begin process of reconstructing records. This is what you posted But they sent him a signed and dated certificate of military service with dates of entry and discharge with a raised seal that should be admissible. What documentation did you provide to secure certificate of military service? I know my stepfather served in WW 11 because of medals recieved and military burial. He served in Phillipines, but I do not know dates. I called funeral home but they are missing the DD214. Appreciate any guidance you can provide.
     
  7. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Meme aid, you only need his social security number to request a copy of his discharge papers from vetrecs.
     

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