Hello everyone – I am long overdue in announcing that I had SUCCESS in getting the full amount of A&A for my 87 year old mother, a surviving spouse. Here’s a little background info: I had originally sent in the application in November 2009. (She was at home then, but a few days later had a stroke and had to go into the nursing home until late February.) At the time she applied in Nov. 2009, she had a small amount of SS only, plus about $2,000-3,000 in CDs and checking, and absolutely nothing else in assets. However, almost all of her medical expenses were paid by Tricare & Medicare, and she received some in-home help through a state program for the elderly. Thus, even though her income was low, there was little to deduct, so her countable income was too high. Based on this, she was awarded a measly $84 a month in February 2010. After her release from the nursing home, I gambled and got her into assisted living in April, hoping that she could get the full A&A. I then sent in the “Statement in Support of Claim” and attached the lease showing the cost of assisted living, and the services provided to her. I included a cover letter. EVERYTHING was signed by my mother (very important). On July 1, she was awarded the full amount of A&A. Unfortunately, it was only retroactive to May 1, and she only received 2 months pay on July 1. (I had been hoping for 3 months retroactive plus July.) My thinking was that they would pay the full amount for April since she was already on A&A, but apparently not. I seem to recall from the first round that they award starting the month after application, and pay a month behind, which would equal only two months pay (May and June, paid in July). Does this sound right to those of you who have dealt with this? Looking back on everything, the process went relatively easy for her compared to other stories I’ve read here. I did not have to supply anything additional. It only took 3 ½ months the first time, and 3 months for the increase. I’ve heard varying stories on how the VA communicates. For this case, she didn’t get one bit of unsolicited communication, or confirmation, from the VA from the time of application to award. It was a very “quiet” process so to speak, which of course creates a lot of anxiety for families who are in the dark and do not know what is going on. I was very fortunate because I had everything I needed to apply, and have some experience through my job dealing with various agencies. Also, when my dad died almost 40 years ago, he was receiving a pension, so I didn’t need some of the documents that others need. My husband was trying to apply for his mom at the same time, who was a WWII Marine veteran herself, but they could not round up the documentation, and she died before they could apply. Best wishes to everyone dealing with this process. Don't give up!!