Newbie approaching nervous breakdown already.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Wendielu, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. Wendielu

    Wendielu Newbie

    Hello all.

    I'm so glad to have found this forum because I am really lost.

    To summarize: My grandfather is living alone in Ft. Myers, FL., in a house he owns. He's no longer suited to living alone. A host of chronic illnesses are making it dangerous. He's 89 and just old and confused and can't take care of himself.

    He has a military pension and SS which adds up to almost $1300/month. He has a mortgage on his home and some other loans and debts. He also has at least one investment, but I'm not sure of it's value (US Steel.)

    He wants to come to Tennessee to live in an assisted living facility near me. That's fine, but I don't know even the FIRST STEP to take.

    I have all the forms that I downloaded from VetAssist and some information from him. But I'm stuck on the first question - which is "do you have a claim with the VA?" Is that the same as a patient ID number or something? He is eligible for medical care through the VA due to income and years of service. He is NOT service connected.

    In no particular order:
    Do I file the A&A claim up here in Tennessee?
    How do I sell his house (we need the proceeds from it to supplement his living expenses) before I get him settled in a nursing home?
    Do nursing homes work with A&A people in conjunction with me?

    I guess I don't even know what else to ask. I think I just need someone to point me in the right direction and give me a kick in the pants. I'm the only person working on this project, and we're in the middle of buying a house and moving, and I'm home with a toddler alone. I'm completely befuddled and frustrated already and I haven't even begun.

    Thanks for any advice you can offer.
     
  2. veteranadvocate

    veteranadvocate Full Member

    First of all, welcome to the website. We are here to help answer your questions the best we can. I am glad that you have not already started your application process. The VA does not have a 'look-back clause' like Medicaid does. The VA is only concern about the income and assets from date of claim. Medicaid looks at any assets that the individual had over the past 5 years.

    I really recommend that you contact the local 'bar association' and obtain a listing of elder law attorneys in your area. They can help your grandfather to protect some of his assests and to take care of some of his outstanding obligations before filing a claim with the VA. There are certain types of irrevocable trusts and other avenues to address his assets so that it will not work against him when filing his claim.

    As far as the location to file his claim, I would recommend using your mailing address and file with the VA Regional Office in Tenn. Florida has such a large veteran's population and they are really slow in processing claims. You can also download the new POA form and represent your grandfather. This will allow you to submit the paperwork for him and also to follow-up on the status of his claim.

    If he files before he goes into an assisted living facility he will probably be denied due to the income limit. We are starting to see where the VA is not just looking at the $80,000 asset limitation but also at the veteran's health and life expectancy. This is why he needs to get his assets reduced as much as possible. The elder law attorney will be able to help him do this within the legal limits.

    As far as the first question regarding 'do you have a claim with the VA'. They are referring to a 'benefit claim' and not medical care by the VA. They want to know if he is receiving a service-connected compensation benefit or a non-service connected pension. It does not sound like he is.

    Some nursing homes and assisted care facilities do work with someone on a local basis to help complete these applications. There are some who will actually pay for any cost associated to completing the application in order to get the veteran to select their facility. There are also state and county veterans service officers that can provide assistance to you and your grandfather. Check this link for the state veterans affairs office and services offered in Tenn. http://state.tn.us/veteran/

    You will probably have some frustrating moments but it will be worth the effort. Besides this is a benefit that your grandfather earned and is entitled to it. He is lucky to have you to look after him.

    We are here to help you through the system. Please stay in touch and let us know how things work out for you and your grandfather.
     
  3. Wendielu

    Wendielu Newbie

    Thank you SO MUCH for responding. I will start with some phone calls tomorrow. I didn't even think about an elder care lawyer. But I bet he/she would have some great ideas and experience with this stuff, too.

    Good call. OK. I will be in touch here. I'll probably be in so much touch that you'll be like "ugh. enough already!" ;)
     
  4. Wendielu

    Wendielu Newbie

    Here are two pieces of great news:

    one, I found a great ALF that will take Gramps AHEAD of the A&A benefit. They will let us pay whatever we can afford and then be reimbursed when the A&A benefit comes. You can't imagine what a relief this is. AND, they are the ones that I had the best "gut instinct" about when finding a community. Great reports all around. Great location.

    Second, I found a financial planner who also does A&A application, all PRO BONO! It's a mission for him and his business partner. He said about 30% of the time, people will hire him for financial planning (and actually, we might do that) but the A&A filing is completely free. And he knows what he's doing and has had great success. He's even going with me out to the ALF to see it and meet everyone and go through all their applications and everything. I am just so thankful and feeling so blessed.

    This morning I talked to a realtor in FL who is going to help sell Gramps' house. And I'm going down there August 1-4 to help him. Hopefully we can have him up here to Tennessee by the end of August.

    Fingers crossed for continued success with this...
     

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