Recently my mother was awarded aid and attendance benefits after a 4 1/2 yr process. During that time period, we made 3 filings. We initially opened a claim in 2012. This took over a year to get a decision in which the VA decided she had enough asset to cover her Assisted Living Facility expenses. When we received this decision we immediately updated that claim, since we had been spending her assets for her support, and it took over a year to get the same decision. We then submitted another update and it took 7 months to get any activity even though we asked for "expedited service" since my mother was 92. The first response we got on the 3rd update was a request for another form on Assisted Living expenses, a net worth statement, and some additional information. We supplied that immediately and then 2 months later the VA requested the same forms that we supplied when we started the 3rd update almost a year before. At time we could not understand why they wanted to start the process all over again, as it was fairly obvious from our standpoint that she should have been awarded benefits. We then sent in a letter to the VA showing how over time and using my mothers countable income (which was extremely negative), and VA's own actuarial tables that she would run out of money well before her estimated lifetime. Because we did not get a response we called the VA hotline and got the response that we should just supply the requested forms and wait for the process to run. We then insisted that we speak to the evaluator. They said we couldn't do that so we told them unless we spoke to someone in authority we would call the VA's Secretary's office or whomever in authority we could reach. We also threatened to visit VA Headquarters in Wash DC ( we live close) and find someone to talk to. The person on the phone assured us that someone in supervision would call back. A few days later a supervisor called and asked what the problem was. We explained the above and pointed out that they didn't need another round of paperwork to determine benefits. After some discussion, the supervisor agreed and said we just needed to supply another form from the Nursing Home where my mother had been moved to and the award would be made. The VA took an additional 2 months but finally the award was made along with back payment from when the 3rd claim was filed. We also felt that because it took so long to evaluate the 2nd update on the claim, my mother should have been awarded benefits earlier. so we're putting together another update to the claim, to get the VA to reevaluate when exactly my mother qualified for benefits. To summarize for those thinking about applying for this benefit, be advised the VA isn't forthright on what it takes to qualify. When they award you they tell you how they came to that decision in detail. When they reject your application they only say why and provide no details. Throughout this whole process our feeling was that the VA makes it very difficult to get these benefits by not providing enough information to the criteria they are using. If you want to apply for these benefits this site is great. Even though it takes effort supply the VA with all the forms listed on the front page of this organizations website. In addition get a copy of M21-1MR, Part V, Subpart iii, Chapter 1, Section J (Just copy and paste this into a search engine). This tells the decision process and also gives a life expectancy table. When you calculate the countable income and if it's negative then you can figure out using your assets how long your money will last. If if lasts less the life expectancy given in the tables then you have a great case for benefits. Also don't be shy about disagreeing with something the VA asks for if it doesn't make sense. That's it. Feel free to asks questions about anything in this post.