seeking advice about how to proceed.......

Discussion in 'Expenses' started by cory, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. cory

    cory Newbie

    First, a big THANK YOU! for all the information and help you provide. Your efforts are SO appreciated!
    A little background prior to my question: My Father is a WWII vet, 80 yrs old, Mother is 79. She was just diagnosed with Alzheimers. Probably within the next year or two my Dad will need help caring for her A/O will have to put her into some sort of assisted living situation. They have very little financially, and in the process of researching possible financial help for them I found your wonderful website. Doing a little number crunching, I think that my Dad would qualify for about a $4000 yearly pension benefit right now, since they are both living at home and do not require any at-home medical care. Even this small amount would certainly be a Godsend to them, although they are surviving without it at this time. Of course once my Mom needs help their out-of-pocket medical expenses will go up dramatically, and they would then qualify for more help through the Housebound or Aid and Assistance program.
    My question: Since it takes SO LONG to actually work through all the application process, should we go ahead and apply for a basic pension for him, or should we wait until they need Housebound or A&A help for my Mom? I guess what I am asking is whether there might be a disadvantage to starting the process now (for a basic pension benefit), if....perhaps while we are still waiting for that process to complete.... we would need to change to request a Housebound or A&A pension instead?
    Everything I read about the VA (both here and on other sites) leads me to believe that when I start this whole thing I will be immersing myself in a literal "bureaucratic nightmare"---and I wonder if we won't just make the nightmare worse by starting and then trying to switch if my Mom needs help sooner than we think she will. On the other hand, if we did get the basic pension set up prior to needing more help, would we be making the process of applying for an increase (to Housebound or A&A) easier down the road?
    I understand that no one can know with certainty the answers to my questions, but I would welcome all opinions and advice.
    Thanks in advance to anyone who may help!

  2. Patty

    Patty Newbie

    I recommend applying now. If your mother is not a veteran, she will not qualify for A&A while your father is alive (only as a surviving spouse) - a well veteran with an ill spouse can only get Basic Pension. As medical expenses increase, you should fill out the Statement in Support of Claim and the Medical expense report letting the VA know that situation has deteriorated, Income is the same at X but Medical expenses have increased to X and assets decreased to X until he is at full Basic Pension. Plus, if your father is not on VA healthcare, once he is on Basic Pension, it is much easier to be admitted (form 1010ez).

    Good Luck,
  3. pologal

    pologal Guest

    also note that if dad gets entitled to basic pension and mom later goes into assisted living (while he is still alive) VA can consider her ALF fees as unreimbursed medical expenses (UMEs). UMEs decrease the amount of income for VA purposes, giving the claimant a higher VA pension (pension is INCOME BASED).

    if she does go into an ALF, let VA know. Send verification of her ALF fees (date admitted, services she receives, and amount paid out of pocket per month). Also send medical evidence (something like a statement from a physician saying that due to her disaiblites (listed) she is in need of assisted living services....etc.

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