I've been checking my Dad's checking account for the last few days in the hope that his award would be approved and sure enough today a sizeable amount, representing retroactive AND current month award appeared in his account! When I got home, the award letter was waiting from the VA. What a glorious feeling, this will help me continue to pay for caregivers so that my Dad can stay in our home.
As promised, I will post the timeline here, and follow up with a copy of the cover letter I sent with my application.
March 3, 2011 -- mailed "Intent to File" form to Phila. office of VA, certified return receipt
March 7, 2011 -- letter received by VA, per my signed return receipt
March 10, 2011 - submitted request online for Dad's discharge records through VetRecs
March 17, 2011 -- faxed signature verification sheet to NPRC with a request to expedite search due to dad's advanced age and intention to seek VA financial support
March 21, 2011 -- received form letter from VA, they have received my letter and are reviewing, will let me know if additional info is needed (which it clearly was as there was no application filed yet!)
March 31, 2011 -- received letter from NPRC stating my dad's records not in files, likely lost in 1973 fire, but info as to dates of service and honorable discharge was available from alternate documentation. They enclosed two copies of Certification of Military Service with raised seal.
May 16, 2011 -- mailed completed application to Philadelphia VA office, certified return receipt (more on this in next post)
June 3, 2011 -- application received in Phila. VA office (note to self.. next time use Fedex or other overnight delivery service...)
June 10, 2011 -- VA rep left message on phone... app received, had some questions
June 13, 2011 -- returned call to VA. They need a letter from Dad's caregiver confirming weekly amount she has been receiving from us beginning what date. (Note: I'd included an accounting of this in the app but because the money was paid to her directly and not to her agency -- we only pay them the administrative component -- they needed the documentation from her showing she received.) Also explained that they are required by law to give Dad 60 days notice of intent to make an incompetency ruling (Dad has dementia). We could waive that right via letter signed by him and witnessed by two people.
June 14, 2011 -- scanned and emailed caregiver letter and waiver letter. VA rep said she would send right to medical board for review. Likely would miss the cutoff for June but should hear in one or two weeks for July 1 date.
June 28, 2011 -- I started checking my Dad's bank account for activity and sure enough....
July 1, 2011 -- amount representing award retro to April 1 appeared in Dad's bank account ... award letter arrived in mail!!
I hope this is helpful and encouraging... I was all prepared to grit my teeth and tough it out for 90 days, but decision came on Day 47!!!
I also was prepared for a lengthy fiduciary review process to name me as fiduciary but I guess they waived that due to my dad's advanced age, don't know how else to explain it but that is one gift horse I am NOT looking in the mouth.