What to do in cases of dementia or Altzheimers

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Katmandu, May 17, 2007.

  1. Katmandu

    Katmandu Newbie

    Hello: While reading some of the info. on this website - especially the "one experience" section I came across the information concerning the need to appoint a fiduciary if your loved one has dementia or Altzheimers. I understand that if the Dr.s report notes any dementia, etc. the VA will require one. My mom is 81 and has the "beginning signs of dementia" as noted by her Dr. So my questions are:


    1. Who can be appointed fiduciary? What exactly does a fiduciary do and for how long. Can I be appointed since I have POA, my mother lives with me and I take care of her financial and medical matters? or Does a lawyer need to be appointed? If a lawyer has to be appointed , when should this be done and how is it done and how much time and money is involved in having this done? Should I go to a lawyer now and have him/her appointed prior to filling out the application?

    2. After a fiduciary is appointed, will they charge a fee monthly and will they handle my mother's money?

    I am so very confused by this. Since my mom does understand now and can sign her name, is it risky to have her sign the application only to have it sent back because of noted dementia?

    Thanks for any help, comments, personal experience you can provide.

    kathy
     
  2. veteranadvocate

    veteranadvocate Full Member

    Kathy welcome to the forum. We are here to help answer your questions and give you encouragement. Dealing with the VA will not be a pleasant experience but we will help you through it. I will try to address some of your questions and concerns, please feel free to ask for any clarification that is needed.

    I understand that if the Dr.s report notes any dementia, etc. the VA will require one. My mom is 81 and has the "beginning signs of dementia" as noted by her Dr.:

    After a fiduciary is appointed, will they charge a fee monthly and will they handle my mother's money?



    The only reason the VA will need to appoint a fidicuary is if the veteran/widow is not capable of handling their own affairs. Since your Mother has early signs of dementia and you stated that she knows what is going on and can sign her name, I would recommend that you submit a statement from her doctor clarifying this. This will speed the processing of her application and prevent the need to appoint a fidicuary for the time being.

    1. Who can be appointed fiduciary? What exactly does a fiduciary do and for how long. Can I be appointed since I have POA, my mother lives with me and I take care of her financial and medical matters? or Does a lawyer need to be appointed? If a lawyer has to be appointed , when should this be done and how is it done and how much time and money is involved in having this done? Should I go to a lawyer now and have him/her appointed prior to filling out the application?

    If the VA determines that a fiduciary is needed, they will send a field representative out to determine the official need. A family member can request that the VA appoint them as the fidicuary. The field rep will determine if the individual making the request is capable of handling the fiducary duties. Main issue is the understanding of what the money can be use for and how records are to be kept. If there are no family members who wants to serve as fiduciary then the VA will appoint someone of their choice and that person can receive an established fee for their services. The appointment of a fiduciary can be a long drawn out process so it is best to avoid that route if possible.

    If the veteran/widow is approved for the pension with A&A but dies before a fiduciary is appointed then the estate can only apply for what was due the claimant to go towards the last illness and/or funeral expenses.


    The VA does not recognize court appointed POAs. They will make their own decision.



    The aid & attendance benefit has been around for many, many years but the VA did not inform veterans/widows about the benefit. It was through organizations like VeteranAid.org and VetAssist.org getting the word out and assisting veterans/widows with their questions that the VA has been flooded with applications. You will notice from some of the articles listed on this website that many VA employees were not aware of it and were giving out wrong information. The VA is starting to take a closer look at these applications, so make sure you complete everything properly and submit all of the required documentation. If you have questions, ask. That is why we are here.

    Be sure to check the website VetAssist.org They have a lot of good info that can help you. I have seen applications approved in as little as 6 weeks and some can take over a year. It depends on the VA Regional Office and how complete the application packet is.

    Main thing is not to get discourage. Your father earned this benefit and your mother deserves it if she qualifies for it.

    Thank you for caring and taking the time to assist your mother. So many veterans/widows are missing out on their benefits because they don't have the capability to deal with the system. God Bless You.
     
  3. claysee

    claysee Newbie

    Thank-you so much for posting your questions about a fidicuiary. I had the exact same questions. AND Thank-you for your answers. I guess we're looking at more delays and time.
     
  4. Katmandu

    Katmandu Newbie

    Thank you so very much for answering my questions. I think I now understand what i need to do. I will make a call to my mother's physician today and help him fill out the questionnaire/report. I am sure everyone here knows how valuable your experience and knowledge are to people like me but I want to thank you for giving your time and energy towards helping others. If there is anything I can do (perhaps when I get further along this road) I am available to anyone who could use some help.

    Kathy
     
  5. claysee

    claysee Newbie

    First, what kind of statement are you getting for your doctor to fill out? Does it have a form #? I thin you and I have shared a lot of heartache together. The questions on the bottom of the page are for you and Advocate.I have a few questions that I desperately need an answer to. I've written to my Congressman and explained the situation. At that time, it had been 13 months waiting on my mom's claim. It's now 14 months. He responded and wrote to the VA and us. He wants the claim expediated. We had to get a second mortgage to continue to pay for my mom's care. (She's been in the same ALF since 9/04.) This is what's going on now. I called the FDVA rep. I told him that my mother's IQ is still 95. (This is documented by all the tests 3x a year by her neurologist.) The VA has these current medical records of 3 months ago. I also stated that all documentation and letters that I brought in to the VA was signed by my mother and myself along with the original VA application. I was made the DPOA on the VA form last October when I brought my mother down. He said; "The first thing is the proposal and the VA will give you 60 days to respond--it will speed up my mother's claim. She has to state that it's okay to be labeled incompentent and she wants me to be the fidicuiary. (This doesn't seem right.) Does this mean that I have to wait again for the VA to send me another form for my mom to fill out with me? What is the proposal? Is there a form number that I can download and give to the VA now? Is there a letter stating what he told me important to get to the VA now? Do I get the doctor to just give a statement that she understands what is going on? I'm so confused. Any information you can provide will be most helpful.
    God Bless
    Claysee
     
  6. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Kathy,

    I am responding to your posting regarding Senior Veterans.

    I am not against agencies that help families get through this maze of paperwork. It is the VA who makes the rules for accredited agencies to abide by.

    The fact that they have a website by the VA's standards is advertising/promoting, as well as plainly stating a dollar amount for a recommended donation.

    So many companies have cropped up in the past 18 months with claims to help veterans and their families who have no background in dealing with the VA, and NO agency would promise your claim will be given special attention.

    I want you to know that I know what this process is, along with the frustrations, and helplessness experienced.

    I used an agency myself when filing for my mother, and when I built this website almost 2 years ago, the VA threatened to pull their accreditation if I did not remove them as a resource.

    Yes, it helps if someone knows what they are doing and the correct verbiage. Even with my using an outside agency, it took 3 months to get a ruling of approval, but they then claimed her dementia as a reason to delay her payments.

    The VA has made it very difficult for people to find and use agencies other than their own, and families are left to find their way as best they can while the veteran or their spouse waits.

    We as the children bear the heartache and financial hardship of trying to take care of our parents.

    This group is new to the arena, and are newly formed. I just don't want to see anyone get hurt.

    I created this site and forum as a way to help families, and I know of too many who have fallen victim to companies who claimed to want to help.

    That is not to say that this is true of them, but they have colored outside the lines for VA accreditation, and that gives me cause for some concern. I certainly hope that this works out well for you and that you can get A&A for your loved one.

    As a side note, Advocate, who responds to many of these postings, worked for the VA for 25 years as a County Service Officer, and anything he says, is by the book. He is probably one of the most knowledgeable people on the planet when it comes to VA laws, rulings and codes.There is a lot of good and valuable resources available on this site, that hopefully make a difference.

    Thank you for contributing to the forum.

    Regards,
    Debbie
     
  7. veteranadvocate

    veteranadvocate Full Member

    One of the big concerns that I have is the fact that this organization or any organization would send out forms for signatures and tell people not to complete the form. NEVER sign an incomplete form. If they were to accidentally insert some wrong information and the claimant had signed the form, the claimant could be charged with a federal offense for falsification. ALWAYS keep copies of everything that is sent to the VA. There may be questions down the road that will need to be address and you will need to know what was reported.

    There are no special codes for the application. I've completed 100's of these applications over the past 27 years. There may be some confusing questions or wording but no codes.

    If this organization or any organization is accredited by the VA and they are representing a claimant then the VA will send that organization copies of all correspondence from the VA to the claimant. The claimant would not have to notify the organization of receiving paperwork and having to forward copies.

    There are some red flags here.
     
  8. Katmandu

    Katmandu Newbie

    I agree and am regretful that I did not do my homework as suggested in the forum rules. I apologize for adding information that is not helpful to others relying on this forum for solid information. I have deleted my comments pertaining to this agency and will be more careful in the future.
     
  9. veteranadvocate

    veteranadvocate Full Member

    We learn good and bad things from our experiences. I respect you for speaking out so others will learn from our experiences.

    Wishing you the best.
     

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