New & Trying to make sense of A&A application

Discussion in 'Tips and Resources' started by suseq, Aug 19, 2015.

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Completing A&A application

  1. VA Health Benefits

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  2. Fiduciary

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  1. suseq

    suseq Newbie

    Help, Dad is a Korean War vet, age 88, with dementia and other various physical ailments. He went from assisted living with aides, to a secure memory care facilty and I am ready to complete his application for A&A. I think I have all necessary documents, but am very confused. Since his diagnosis is dementia do I need to have him made incompetent and become his fiduciary or legal guardian. I am currently POA and health care surrogate. He resides in FL , me in New York. All his mail comes to me. I take care of his bills, finances and banking. Current income just comes from Social Security and a very small pension. He is living off of savings and it is going fast. Can I expedite this process. Can I complete process on my own. Advice and opinions would help. Do I need to send in the form granting me access to his information first, or just include with paper work. One more question. He used VA health benefits until 2012 when he went to independent/assisted living and used facility Dr's , medicare and spouses private insurance . How can I get VA health benefits reactivated. Thanks so much
     
  2. I am in no way an expert on this like others on this site, but I can tell you about my own experience. I'm in a similar boat. My Grandfather is 90 with dementia. My mom is his POA. His savings is all-but-gone what with the 2008 crash. We finally got his A&A done (send in the informal request ASAP if you haven't already to mark that date in the books!). To answer your questions to the best of my ability:

    Yes, I think the VA will designate him "incompetent", which means there will need to be a fiduciary. It's often a family member but can be assigned if a family member isn't available. Being the POA doesn't give you a fast track to be the fiduciary, but you can be both POA and fiduciary. In our experience we got the A&A approved then they asked for more info about our proposed fiduciary. My mom's paperwork is in the works right now so that's as much as I know.

    You can do this on your own. It's frustrating but doable.

    You can't expedite (that I'm aware of), but you can send in the informal claim I mentioned above. Once the A&A is approved, you are eligible for the benefits from the date they process the informal claim, not when they finally approve the A&A. This can be months and months, so it's not a small amount of money that's due to him for his service. I found out about claim on this very site http://www.veteranaid.org/forums/index.php/topic,762.0.html

    I don't feel comfortable trying to answer your other questions about health benefits. I just don't know enough.

    I was finally connected to someone at the VA - an unlisted number - expressing my frustration at how slow the process was and he was kind but exhausted himself, explaining almost in tears that they are just grossly understaffed for the amount of claims they process. All the more reason to get that informal claim in.

    Good luck and keep asking questions here. This site was very helpful for me.
     
  3. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    suseq,

    The VA does not recognize POA, so that will serve no purpose pertaining to this application.

    You need to let the VA make the ruling of incompetency. You do not address this issue on the front end of the application process. You would deal with this issue after the application has been processed, and a decision made as to being approved and awarded the benefit. You can find more information on this in the FAQ section on the website.

    If you follow all the suggestions and recommendations on the site and here on the forums, you should be able to complete a "Fully Developed Claim", which will get processed much more quickly than an incomplete application.

    Regarding having his medical benefits reinstated, that does beyond our expertise, and suggest you contact the VA directly to make that inquiry.
     

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