New to process - already scarred but I think I am on the right track

Discussion in 'Surviving Spouse Application' started by MATTNDAY, Jul 13, 2016.


    MATTNDAY Newbie

    We started out trying to use the Advanced Wellness Center in Roseville, CA to help us with this process but it dis not end up being a good fit. We are trying to obtain benefits for my mom.

    We started searching for Assisted Living facilities on our own and collecting the needed paperwork. We are reluctant to place her due to finances until we feel reasonably sure she has a decent shot of getting the benefit. We have found a good fit and want to place her soon.

    We have collected the DD214 showing active service for 1 year in Vietnam during an approved period.

    We have obtained a marriage certificate showing they were married for 1 year prior to service and that they remained married until my dads passing.

    We have obtained a death certificate for my father the veteran.

    We have her social security award letter available through the online site - assuming this would work

    For net worth she only has saving / checking totalling ~20k and nothing else.

    Retirement incomes. She get 2 small retirements incomes totaling about $500 per month How do I prove / verify these. my mom has been no help on this front. I just see the direct deposit info from her bank.

    Proof Of Insurance / Medications - I have obtained list and costs

    I have the signed physicians statement demonstrating that she has CHF, memory loss, AFIB, diabetes, and a long list of other issues limiting her capacity and ability to care for herself. I believe she will qualify for the benefit as it specifically states she needs help with bathing, She needs help with medication management, Assistance with on and off the toilet. cooking assistance as she can not stand for long enough periods to prepare the needed dietary needs.

    List of medical expenses for last year.

    Overall my mom has an income of 2300 per month. This includes 1800 from Social Security and 500 from retirement accounts. Of this income an average of $500 per month(including ER/hospital stays will be attributed to medical per month and another $200 per month will go to insurance premiums. Her only asset is $20k in a savings/checking account.

    Her monthly care cost will be $2800 once we place her in a facility.

    My primary concerns are:

    1)My mother received a $150k distribution from her sister dying last year. She distributed it all but $20k to her kids / grandkids. There was not a will and she doesn't have paperwork for this transaction. Will the cancelled checks be sufficient on the paper trail of how she came and distributed this money? I am worried this will be a hangup

    2)My mothers doctor statement fully supports her claim and is based on her health over the last year which necessitated 3 Er visits and 2 hospitalizations. Under our care instead of living on her own she has stabilized and is doing better. The doctor was aware of her hygiene issues and reluctance to bathe do to strength issues and also she has needed help up on several occasions from her chair / the toilet. She notated these as areas she requires assistance on the health form. Our concern is that this is not a constant occurrence but a reason she does need help. Should we be concerned that this is not something she has to have every time she bathes or toilets? It is only on days when her strength is low or health is flaring up.

    3)How do I prove / verify these. my mom has been no help on this front. I just see the direct deposit info from her bank.

    Please advise on how I am doing and if anything looks like it might trip us up.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    For the retirement incomes, the direct deposit in her bank statements should suffice as evidence. Have you obtained certified copies (from a notary) of the marriage certificate, death certificate, and DD214? Because we highly recommend certified copies as you will most likely not be given the originals back.

    Right now the VA does not look at historical records to see what a person did have in total assets before applying for the benefit. Therefore I believe the cancelled checks or any other evidence that shows how the $150k was distributed to others and she does not have it.

    As long as the doctor indicated she needs help with "activities of daily living" on a semi-regular basis then she should be fine.

    I hope this helps.
  3. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    If I understand correctly, it looks like you are going to have to use existing assets to pay for the assisted living cost until the VA approves the benefit. I have the same problem, i.e. lack of finances to cover assisted living for my mother in law, so unless we borrow money, we can't cover it until the VA approves a A&A level of benefit. But I don't want to borrow money not actually knowing if the VA will give the maximum benefit level, because then you could really be in a tricky situation. It is a real Catch-22.

    I think some of that information you have on expenses goes into Section X of the 21-534 form.
    Kaylin likes this.
  4. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    That is correct, toxdoc49. Thank you for chiming in there. It really is a Catch-22 situation in most cases.
    toxdoc49 likes this.

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