First of all, I need to thank Debbie and this site because without all the help and information and forms I rec'd here this would be an almost impossible task.
I am going to list everything I did to apply for the Aid and Attendance Allowance because today we received absolutely wonderful news! My Mom has been approved for the benefit and we will receive a confirming letter in one week.
I am going to share our experience just in case I can make this whole arduous and complicated process just a tiny bit easier for even one person.
Here is our situation briefly.
My Mom is 83 years old and while not suffering from dementia, is housebound, incontinent and unable to care for herself anymore after being self-sufficient and active until just a couple of months ago when she became very ill and ended up in the hospital. In late July we moved her out of her apartment of 26 years and moved her in with my brother and sister-in-law. We have had to hire an home health-care service to come in three times a week to assist in her care as she can no long bathe herself and all of us work full-time.
My Dad, who had Altzheimer's and passed away seven years ago was a WWII veteran (Navy Seabee). My Mom has almost no assets and is living on Social Security.
I will list exactly what I did because I know I had many questions when I filed the application.
This is our timeline: I think we are one of the lucky ones, but I really believe one of the tricks here is to be organized and make it easy for them to digest your information and have it as complete as possible.
7/31/2008 - I mailed, by certfied mail, the completed package to the Department of Veterans Affairs in San Diego.
8/8/2008 - We received a confirming letter that the package had been rec'd.
9/8/2008 - I rec'd a phone call from a VA representative asking to confirm a couple of things. I referred the call to my brother and SIL who called the VA back today.
9/9/2008 - We were told that my Mom is eligible for the benefit and wouild receive even more money than we thought because things like Depends, Boost meal supplements are allow considered legitimate deductions against her countable income. We are on Cloud nine because the cost of home care alone exceeded my Mom's meager Social Security income.
I will post the final dollar amounts of her benefits next week when we receive the letter because I don't know exactly what they are.
This is exactly how I filed her application.
1. I included a cover letter with the application. (See Below as to what my cover letter said.)
2. I put all the forms and documents in a small 3-ring notebook and included dividers for each section.
3. I made copies of the entire application and supporting documentation for myself.
Below is what I put in the cover letter. Included in this letter is a list of all the forms and documentation I included with the application (and the order I included them in.)
July 31, 2008
Department of Veteran Affairs
San Diego Regional Office
8810 Rio San Diego Drive
San Diego, CA 92108
RE: Filing of VA Form 21-534
Enclosed is an application for Dependency Compensation by a Surviving Spouse - VA Form 21-534 that is being filed by (My Momís Name), a surviving widow of (My Dadís Name), a deceased Navy Veteran who served in WW II.
I am assisting my mother in the filing of this application. My mother is 82 years old and living on a limited social security income. She has assets of less the $1,000. She can no longer walk without assistance, suffers from urinary incontinence and can no longer bathe herself. She is also suffering from liver failure. As of July 15, 2008 my mother has a home-care service come three time a week to assist her with cleaning, bathing and dressing herself.
The following forms and supporting paperwork are included with this application to support the request for the VA Benefit which includes the Aid and Attendance allowance.
Included with the application are the following supporting documentation:
ē VA Form 21-534
ē Navy Discharge Papers for (My Dadís Name) (deceased veteran)
ē Death Certificate for (My Dadís Name)
ē Income Statement for (My Momís Name) (SSA statement)
ē Information about prior VA Claim (Death benefit for (My Dadís Name))
ē Birth Certificates for (My Dadís Name) (deceased veteran) and (My Momís Name) (surviving spouse)
ē Marriage Certificate for (My Dadís Name) and (My Momís Name)
ē VA Form 21-2680 - Physician Statement for (My Momís Name)
ē Bank Account Statements for (My Momís Name)
My mother is physically infirm but of sound mind and suffers from no dementia.
Thank you for your consideration of her application and if you have any questions or need more information please contact me on my cell phone at (xxx) xxx-xxxx.)
The only questions they asked me were about her medical expenses and they actually added to my list of eligible expenses towars her countable income. (Depends and Booth energy drink.)
As soon as I know what her benefit is going to be, I will post the information here.
Good luck to everyone!