My story starts December, 2008 when i had dropped by the Alzheimer's association because my mom was showing signs of dementia and had other health issues so I wanted to know if they provided any home care because i knew my Moms condition was bad and would get worse. Unfortunately they said they don't have enough help to go around but she mentioned something called Aid and Attendance that i had never heard about. I started doing some research and thank God I came upon this site. Once i was here i started doing some research. I then decided i would file for Aid and attendance for my mother. My mother was married to her first husband for 30 years who had been in the military 20 plus years. Then he died and she remarried my father who had only been in the military for only 6 months. I called the 800 number for the VA and asked them who do i file on since both her husbands were in the military. The VA rep said file on the first husband because he had a lot more military service so i helped my mother file for A&A January,2009 and listed her first husband as the Veteran. I also filed the form to be her representative so they could talk to me. 1. FIRST LESSON LEARNED, SOMETIMES THE VA PHONE REPS TELL YOU WRONG! The VA sent me a denial letter in April stating that my mother did NOT qualify because she got remarried. However after talking with Debbie i discovered i could file on her second husband(and should have done this all along) because her second husband even though only in 6 months qualified because it was fortunately during the times required and was at least 90 days. So now I had repeat the whole process and start from the beginning! I had to get all the paperwork and I mailed off the second application in April, 2009. Unfortunately i did not not have his original military records or a certified copy. I just had a regular copy. 2. SECOND LESSON LEARNED, Send off for a certified copy through the military archives and get a certified copy if you don't have one or the originals. I got a letter stating they needed military records so i sent off for one through the military achieves. I was surprised as it wasn't long before it arrived. I forgot to mention but when i had sent in the app i also sent in the form for me to be able to speak to the VA on behalf of my mother. They sent the form back with another form and had me sign this other form saying i never received any money for helping her fill out the application. I then sent the forms back. 3. THIRD LESSON LEARNED, Even though most everyone on here tell you to send off the form so you will be able to speak to the VA this form NEVER, I REPEAT NEVER did me a bit of Good. To this day they still will not talk to me without my moms permission. I would still do it because it cant hurt but just don't hold your breath in them approving you to talk to them. Next, I got a letter back from the VA wanting information about the home health company expenses however by this time all my moms money had run out and my money had run out so i canceled the home health company and was taking care of my mom at my home in the evening and at night and on weekends, fortunately she was going to the day center in the daytime or i probably would have fell over dead of exhaustion. Fortunately i had seen on here that i needed to make sure I actually have my mom pay me. It seemed kind of dumb as i would have my mom write me a check but before the end of the month i would have to write her a check so she could cover all the other costs associated with her care but that's what has to be done. I sent in proof of my mom paying me, i also sent in a copy of the contract that me and my mom signed that stated how much she would pay me and that i would provide care for her when she wasn't at the day center. I also sent in the hours i would be working. Since i had been paying a home health agency Im sure the VA could see that i was charging less than what they was charging so the VA did not give me any hassle about what i was charging. After all, I am providing more hours for less money. The VA did not require me to go through the Fiduciary process so i cant give any advice on that. About 5 months after applying(the second time) my mom was approved for VA benefits! I was approved for a little less than the full amount. Since i knew how the VA figured the award i was perplexed as to why it wasn't the full amount after i finished jumping up and down in celebration that the nightmare was over!!!!! My mom has the money now to hire the home health agency back if she wants! Still not really sure what happened as to why not the full amount but here is what i know, they deducted the monthly expenses for home health care and her social security deduction but for some reason the medicine was not deducted and the Depends wasn't, the letter said the medicine was paid for before the application date However its an ongoing expense so i am not sure why they didn't count that as a deduction????? Maybe they didn't understand its an ongoing expense??? I have no idea. Somehow i didn't cross a "T" or dot an "I" because i know medicine should be deducted from your income, maybe it was a fluke i really don't know. I had applied in April and the VA sent a lump sum payment for May, June, July and the regular monthly check should be sent on September 1rst for august and then the check should be sent out around the 1rst of the month from now on. Tip: Remember, Hurry and apply because the VA wont pay you for your expenses before the application! Final thoughts: 1. The process was a confusing nightmare. I probably would have gave up if it wasn't for this website and Debbie. All the people Debbie has helped I wish the VA could have come through for her in Time. If anyone deserved it, she did. 2. Follow the instructions on this website. Everything you need to know is on the this website. I think the new FAQ section of this website will make it even easier and answer a lot of questions. 3. Don't be like the 10 leapers in the bible who nine didn't even come back and give thanks. Share your experience! When you get approved don't just disappear because you no longer need help come back at least one more time and share it! 4. Last but not least...."Thank you Jesus!"