My Story So Far Part 2

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by Deb K, May 13, 2017.

  1. Deb K

    Deb K Newbie

    To continue my story - I was past the maximum limit!

    Mom got a letter dated 1/12/17 indicating that they were still processing her application for DIC and apologizing for the delay.

    Mom got a request dated 3/1/17 for some more information. The letter also indicated that even though we had requested the VA expedite her claim under the Fully Developed Claim Program, it could not be, because there was additional information needed to complete the claim. I was devastated! Apparently, I had left off a few $0's on the application in Section VIII for Gross Monthly Income. Fortunately, they included a copy of that page of the application, put red "X's" where I needed to fill in, and a red line at the bottom asking me to sign there and return. How easy was that! However, it was still asking for medical information for my dad. At that point I realized something was wrong. Fortunately, I work at a college and we have a VA rep on-campus. He checked the application and we realized I had checked the DIC box in error on the application. Well, I figured if they cold send me a copy of a page with red ink for corrected areas, I could do the same. So I copied my copy of that specific application page, whited-out the check-mark in the DIC box, wrote in red ink that this was a corrected page and that we were NOT applying for DIC, and signed and dated it in red ink as well! 3/14/17 I sent in the corrected page of VA Form 21-534 EZ, the updated page they requested for the same form, and the Attendant Affidavit form from her home health care provider, because they did not have a date as to when the 2nd caregiver began, what the services were and how long they would continue. At this point, I also requested that as my mom's representative to please copy me on any further correspondence. Packet was sent Priority Mail EXPRESS, return receipt with signature requested. That packet crossed paths with a 3/14/17 letter again saying that they were working on mom's application for DIC.

    Mom received a letter dated 4/11/17, but I did not receive a copy as requested, so on 4/14/17 I called the VA regional office (Philadelphia) to see what the letter was about. At first he didn't want to talk about anything because on VA Form 21-0845 I had listed both myself and my sister to disclose information to (just in case something happened to me - who knew!) He said I'd have to resubmit the form with one of the names crossed out! All he could say was that they need to clarify some income information. They also said I was copied on the letter. I waited a few days, no letter. 4/18/17 called the VA. This person said I needed to wait 7-10 business days for my copy of the letter to arrive before they could do anything. They can't discuss the details of the letter by phone until I receive it. At this point, I finally realized that

    instead of having my mom mail me her copy of the letter, I could have her caregiver fax it to me at work. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. Got the copy on 4/24/17, and they had checked mom's income against the 2015 IRS comparison. What came up was her long term care insurance, a little dividend amount and her federal annuity. The long term care insurance funds were paid directly to her home health care provider and therefore are not considered income. The dividend interest is automatically invested back into the account. The annual federal annuity amount they

    were comparing to the monthly amount which was correctly recorded on her application in the Gross Monthly Income category. I called the VA on 4/24/17 and finally got someone who seemed to really care and was very helpful. First, she verified that the corrected page sent previously indicating that DIC was NOT being applied for was now in the system. All I had to do was verify the income information requested. Even though the letter included medical forms again, it was actually a form letter packet, and just because the forms were there didn't mean they were applicable to me. They include them in case they are needed. She also made sure to indicate in the system that I was to be copied on all future correspondence. Because I had also included VA FORM 21-22a to serve as mom's representative in error (don't know how/why I did that), she was able to label me in the system as a non-certified representative, making life much easier from that point.

    4/27/17 a packet was mailed to the VA, certified mail, return receipt with signature requested. It included copies of the 2015 tax forms from her long term care insurance, with a section highlighted about it not being counted as income (although it is still reported to the IRS), a statement from her home health care agency that they had received those funds directly, copies of her Charles Schwab tax form with a statement highlighted that the funds are reinvested back into her account, and a copy of the annual federal annuity with a note that the figure stated in their letter x 12 months equaled the amount they were asking about! After this, I thought I must finally be done with it. But I was wrong! Talk about lousy timing!

    The story will continue in Part 3
    Kaylin likes this.

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