Applied for benefit for my mom in April of 2012. A friend applied for his parent at the same time. After months of both of us receiving periodic form letters from VA with no action, I wrote Florida Senator Bill Nelson asking for his assistance in March of this year. Within 30 days the VA approved the benefit, referencing Senator Nelson's inquiry, and deposited the first monthly check into her account on May 1st. (My friend and his parent still wait). They withheld the retroactive benefit of approximately $ 12,000 because my mom has dementia and it is taking the VA several additional months to go through the fiduciary appointment process. Unfortunately the May 1 check will be the only assistance my mom was to receive. She died on Saturday of a stroke. When I informed the VA, they indicated that she was not due the June 1st check which was to cover her ALF expenses billed and paid for in May. Turns out you lose the benefit as of the month of death, regardless of when death occurs or whether expenses have been paid. As to the retroactive benefit, had she not had dementia, that money would have been paid to her on May 1st along with the 1st monthly check and her death would have had no impact. BUT..... since payment was pending, her estate will not receive those funds, though I have been told that they will send me a form which will reimburse the family for some part of funeral expenses. More irony here than I can deal with. We have been worried sick for a year about how we would pay for her care and have shouldered some of her monthly expenses to make her limited funds stretch. VA approval came as a huge relief both from a financial perspective for my wife and I and a care perspective for my mom. 25 days later, it matters not at all.