I am new to this site & sure wish I would have known about it BEFORE I submitted the original claim for my mom.
Here's a short version of my story: Mom is 73 with dementia. She is unable to care for herself, so my husband and I moved her in with us, and she has a caretaker.
We first applied for benefits in August, 2011. We went to a local VFW office for assistance in filling out the forms. The man that assisted us was very nice, but took about 5 minutes to complete ALL of the paperwork...hence, we listed no un-reimbursed medical expenses.
My mom has no assets, doesn't own a home, NOTHING...and her only income is the $950 she receives from Social Security. We were shocked in February 2011 when we got the letter from the VA stating she was approved for A&A and a monthly pension of $99, monthly pension began in March 2011, with retroactive award being held pending fiduciary process.
We found this WONDERFUL site (THANK YOU DEBBIE!!) and decided to submit a Statement of Claim, included her caregiver expenses ($1200/mo) which brings her countable income to less than $0 per month...and a detailed Caregiver contract signed by both my mother and her caretaker. We also stated that we felt this was a VA error since we tried to get advice/help filling out the forms from someone recommended to us by the VA!
On September 23, I was appointed my mother's fiduciary (that process took FOREVER...we waited nearly 7 months before even receving a call from the field examiner). I was told by the field examiner that the retroactive payment of $495 (based on her current award) would be released in ~3 weeks, and was told that if my mother's reopened claim was approved at a higher amount, the total retroactive payment would increase from the date of original claim.
As of October 3rd, when inquiring on the status of my mother's claim (which the VA is calling a "reopened claim") I was told a decision was made as of that day, but the representative didn't have any other information in the system, and told me I would receive a letter "soon"...
My question is, since we were basically instructed incorrectly the first time we filled out the application, if the VA does increase the monthly award, would they make that new award retroactive to the date of filing the original claim 8/2010??