Hi Gail, sorry I didn't see your post earlier. When my Mom, the veteran, received her approved claim decision the award letter had a section on the fourth page that said, "You May Be Entitled To Pension Up To One Year Prior To the Date Of Your Claim". They enclosed a VA Form 21-0510, Eligibility Verification Report Instructions, and asked me to complete Form 21-0516-1 Improved Pension Eligibility Verification Report and Form 21-8416, Medical Expense Report showing income, net worth and un-reimbursed medical expenses for three time periods. They gave me one year to send the evidence in, but asked for it in 30 days if possible. If you don't have this section in your award letter, maybe the veteran isn't eligible? I don't know.
At the time that I was filling out the forms, there was a thread on this topic. It is at: http://veteranaid.org/forums/index.php/topic,836.0.html
. You can also find it by searching on "prior". It took about three months for them to process this second claim.
On the fiduciary issue, thanks for letting me know about the two departments. That makes sense. With the initial award they proposed incompetency. With this claim they decided that she is not competent for VA purposes. I guess we're waiting for the interview process. I called yesterday and they told me that they would only appoint someone else if I am denied first. That is reassuring. Hope this helps. Annie