Question

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by raytamtay3, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. raytamtay3

    raytamtay3 Newbie

    I sent in mom's application back in March, and according to the E Benefits site, it's in the pending decision with dates that keep changing (first it was a decision was going to be made in October, now it's end of November beginning of December). The question I have is, I didn't send in a canceled check as I've read is a requirement on here, nor did I send in a bank statement. These two items they haven't asked for. Do you think Mom's application will ultimately be denied as a result of not including these? Is there a way to rectify that before the approval process, i.e., sending them now?

    In addition, prior to applying, my mother was only receiving her social security. Now that dad has passed, she now received his. She went from receiving $500 a month to now $1400 and that is her only income. Is that something that I should notify them of as well considering I previously submitted mom's ss award letter?

    Lastly, I read that my mom should be giving me check as opposed to having me withdrawal money from her account. I never submitted copies of checks or anything indicating how much mom pays us. Ugh. Looks like I might have really screwed things up. Advice on that I should do now?

    They did send the original application back as I needed to put zeros on some of the income sections where there was no income, but other than that, they haven't asked for anything.

    I filed before I found this wonderful forum! Thank you thank you thank you for creating this wonderful forum!
     
  2. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    raytamtay3,

    The best way to update the VA on the changes to your mother's income from the additional social security is to use the Form 21-4138 Statement In Support of Claim. When sending this form, it would be best to include the bank statement and the copies of checks to indicate how much your mother is paying you each month. The VA wants to see that your mother has only X amount of income coming in and she is spending X amount of income on care.

    Hopefully the VA can use this information along with anything you choose to write on Form 21-4138 to update your mother's application and award her the benefit sooner rather than later.

    If you still do not hear back from the VA soon after updating this information, I would suggest contacting your mother's state Senator. You need to tell them you are requesting a Congressional inquiry on the status of your mother's application. You will have to sign a release for them to make the inquiry.

    I hope this helps in your mother's application process.
     
  3. raytamtay3

    raytamtay3 Newbie

    Thank you Kaylin. Do you think this will delay the process?
     
  4. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    raytamtay3,

    You're welcome! It is hard to say. If you submit the information they might be missing from your first application, the VA could hurry up and easily award your mother the benefit. On the other hand, it may delay due to additional information.

    Either way, since you sent in your original application back in March I would advise that if you do not hear back from the VA by Christmas time, it might be best to contact your Senator's (of your mother's current state she lives in) office to have them submit a Congressional inquiry.

    I hope your mother gets the benefit money she deserves soon.
     
  5. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    It needed to be a "voided" check so that the VA knows where to send the payments should she be awarded the benefit.

    If you listed what she is paying you each month to act as her caregiver, then you do not need to provide a check showing that.

    I advise you to wait until you get through the application process before informing them of her increase, as providing it now, will indeed delay the process. If awarded. you would need to inform them immediately, and I would hang on to the funds in the event they come back and say that she is over income, or if they reduce her award amount.

    It is difficult when circumstances change during the application process, and it is regrettable that informing the VA of those changes mid-stream can add months to the time frame to get through.
     
  6. raytamtay3

    raytamtay3 Newbie

    So should I still submit a voided check and if so, can I do it electronically and do I need to prepare Statement in Support of Claim form? Thank you for your advice.
     
  7. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    raytamtay3,

    I would recommend not mailing the voided check yet. Wait until your mother has been awarded the benefit and then mail in the voided check. They will need somewhere to send the money anyways, so they will request it. If you mail in more information now, it may result in the application being pushed further back in the filing process.

    Kaylin
     
  8. raytamtay3

    raytamtay3 Newbie

    Our original estimated completion date listed on E-File was between August and September, 2015. Â Then it changed to 12/11/15 - 12/28/15. Â Now it states "your claim has exceeded the projected completion date. Â We are working to process your claim as quickly as possible. Â For more information you can submit questions to VA's Inquiry System....". Â Has anybody encountered this before and if so, is it advisable to submit a question as to why it's taking so long to the Inquiry System? Â Also, I contacted our state Senator on 12/12/15 and received a letter stating they received my letter and that they were looking into the matter and would contact me soon.

    I applied for A&A back in March, 2015 and even requested an expedited process as mom has been on hospice since that time.
     
  9. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    You need to call your Senator's office back, and tell them you need this resolved. Holidays are over, and they need to move this inquiry to the top of the stack.
     
  10. raytamtay3

    raytamtay3 Newbie

    I did. They said they are looking in to it. In the meantime, I checked the E-File system and the status changed to 'Preparation for Notification'. I thought I had read someplace that you acceptance of rejection would be posted on that site? Am I to conclude that they just send it via mail?
     
  11. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    If you don't have a letter with decision by the end of 30 days, you need to call your Senator's office back, and tell them that a current update is needed. and that the lack of reply is unacceptable.

    You won't find the outcome online, only status. Decisions have to be mailed.
     
  12. raytamtay3

    raytamtay3 Newbie

    Thank you! Will do.
     
  13. raytamtay3

    raytamtay3 Newbie

    I went on E Benefits today, and it looks like the decision letter has been mailed. From what I've read from others on here, if they were awarded, the first payment appeared in their parent's accounts even before they received the letter. Am I to assume my mom was denied considering nothing was deposited into her account?

    Under Dependents, it also still has mom listed as "Dependent not on award" listed. Nor was she assigned a disability rating on the site.
     
  14. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    raytamtay3,

    It does not necessarily mean your mother was denied because she has not received a deposit in her account yet. Wait until you receive the letter to really know what the decision is. The disability rating refers to the veteran's disability rating in a compensation claim, not a pension claim. You are filing for the Aid and Attendance benefit for the widow of a veteran, which is a pension claim.
     
  15. raytamtay3

    raytamtay3 Newbie

    Thanks Kaylin. I'm a little anxious as you can probably imagine. Yeah, hopefully we will receive the letter this week.

    Mom has been talking a lot about near the end and what she can expect as far as where she will be. Something she always worried about... I told her that I will do everything I can to keep her in our home. The extra money would really help with that as I work full time and would be able to have mom pay someone to be with her when I cannot at our house.

    I'll keep you all posted. Fingers crossed!!
     
  16. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    raytamtay3,

    We will keep our fingers crossed for you and your mother! I understand that you are anxious. That is normal for many who apply for the Aid and Attendance benefit for their family member.

    Kaylin
     
  17. raytamtay3

    raytamtay3 Newbie

    Ok so this is weird. We haven't received the award letter, but I just saw a deposit made in my mother's account for $639 and it has a date range of 3-1-15 - 3-31-15. I filed the claim on 3-1-15??? I know I have to wait until I receive the award letter for an explanation, but I find the amount low and it odd that it's reflecting that date range. Any ideas?
     
  18. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    raytamtay3,

    That is an odd number, the $639. We really do need to see what the award letter says and what this award may be based on.
     
  19. raytamtay3

    raytamtay3 Newbie

    I received the letter, and am pretty bummed. They gave mom the $639 after considering her SSI back at the time of filing; minus the $945 I had claimed as burial expense to reduce her annual income. But then they saw that my mom began receiving dad’s SSI after that. So they have denied our claim, however, she is entitled to A&A.

    I completed and sent in the paperwork prior to finding this wonderful forum. So I didn’t submit anything stating she was paying us. I’m kicking myself as now my mom probably won’t be entitled to the retroactive payments because I don’t have proof, other than transfers from her account to mine, for those payments. Would you happen to know if I submit those statements showing the transfer from her account to mine sufficient evidence that she’s been paying us since then? I will be submitting copies of checks going forward which will reduce her income and then make her eligible. I’m just upset I that I probably won’t be able to get her that lump sum payment. Ugh. Am I to write a letter stating how much mom has been paying us as I don't see that listed on the form.

    So how to proceed to show that mom is paying us $600 a month which reduces her annual income after SSI to $11,290 (the limit is $13,794) which would then make her financially eligible.

    They mentioned that they received the Senator's letter advising they were copying him on there decision letter. Should I also copy him when I resubmit the updated information?

    My parents lived in NJ but both were born in PA. My parents reside/resided in NJ but were born in PA. I submitted the paperwork to the NJ Regional VA, but it looks like the PA Regional office responded. Any idea why?

    Also, on form VA FORM 21-0518-1, it asks for the VA Regional Office Return Address. Is that our address or the address for the regional office we are submitting it to?

    Am I to report how much is in mom's checking and savings accounts?

    Thanks!
     
  20. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    raytamtay3,

    I would use form 21-4138, Statement in Support of Claim, to update the VA on the information regarding your mother paying you in the past and currently for ongoing care. If you show bank statements that indicate her paying you for care, then this might work.

    You need to clearly indicate on the form that your mother is continuing to pay you for care and show the bank statements to prove it. I don't think you would need to include the Senator when you submit this new information.

    The PA office is the VA regional office that NJ applications are sent to. There are 3 in total around the country.

    On VA form 21-0518-1, I would put the New Jersey office because that is the office you have been working with. They will forward it to the PA office anyways because they are the ones who have to process the application.

    Yes, you should have a report of how much is in your mother's checking and savings accounts. The VA works in real time with the IRS.

    I hope this helps you with resolving the situation.
     

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